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a brief <303DUiit of IheMDrk 
the Avidtioa DepaHraentdrihe- 
hnpmdL Munitions BoarcLanid, 
tiic CrinHdiriR. AergpLanes Limifaed 

''SOUA ^O 





While the contents of this volume 
present an accurate history of 
theR.A.F, Canada, it is to he 
understood that the Air Ministry 
is not responsible for any state- 
ments made herein. 

Copyright, Canada, 1919, 
by Alan Sullivan, Toronto 



The Western Front in 1916 7 

Official Preliminaries 16 

Aviation Department, Imperial Munitions Board . 25 

Canadian Aeroplanes Limited 44 

Cost of Training 57 

Headquarters Staff 61 

Training in General 76 

North Toronto 85 

Beamsville Camp 89 

Inspection 93 

The Instructor 100 

The Medical Service 108 

Winter Flying 125 

Recruits' Depot 135 

Records and Recruiting 139 

The Cadet Wing 155 

School of Aeronautics 162 

Armament School 170 

Aerial Gunnery 180 

Camera Gunnery 193 

Wireless 197 

Photography 205 

Armour Heights System . 211 

School of Special Flying 220 

Flying Accidents 224 

Royal Flying Corps in Texas 233 

Engine Repair Park 251 

Aeroplane Repair Park 256 

Stores Depot . 261 

Pay Office 266 

Mechanical Transport Section 275 

Assistant Provost Marshal 279 

Royal Engineer Section . 280 

Camp Borden 284 

Long Branch 288 

Deseronto 289 

Sports 294 

Acknowledgments 302 


The battle of the Somme in the latter half of 1916 
was the principal factor leading to the formation of 
the Royal Flying Corps, Canada. Aerial conditions 
on the Western Front were at this period of so tense 
a nature that they may well be noted before proceeding 
to the actual history of the Canadian brigade. 

The following sketch makes no pretence of absolute 
accuracy. The data available at the moment are not 
oflBcial, but are compiled from the memories of several 
flying ofiicers serving on the Western front at the time. 
They may, however, be taken as fairly presenting not 
only the development of the Royal Flying Corps, but 
also that of opposing enemy aircraft at the period under 

The British Expeditionary Force commenced oper- 
ations in 1914 with a flying arm of four squadrons or 
some fifty machines, of which no less than thirty were 
destroyed during a severe storm at Christmas time by 
the collapse of a large hangar at St. Omer, leaving on 
the foUowing day approximately 14 serviceable 
machines. At this time aU aeroplanes in both forces 
were unarmed. 

It is difficult to say whether British or German 
made the first aerial attack on an opposing machine, but 
it is undoubted that this type of combat, coming how 
it may, found both sides unequipped with the ex- 
ception of such offensive power as might be secured 
with rifle or revolver. British machines had been thus 
armed for months, probably in anticipation of forced 
landings behind the German lines and, without question, 
enemy aircraft were similarly provided. There ensued 
a series of sporting encounters out of which grew the 
necessity of arming aeroplanes with rapid-fire guns 

mounted mostly on the top of the centre section so 
that bullets might clear the propeller blade. This 
gun was operated by the pilot, who suppUed the sole 
method of forward shooting, while the observer, who 
was at that time placed in the front seat, fired to the 
rear. A year and a half afterwards, the method of 
shooting practically through the propeller was evolved, 
which, gradually developing, has long since reached 
mechanical perfection. 

In the early summer of 1916, the British strength 
had grown to some 28 or 30 squadrons in France. 
These numbered approximately 450 machines, distri- 
buted fairly equally along the entire front. A view of 
our aerial equipment as contrasted with enemy air- 
craft in the battle of the Somme gives the following 
data, but it must be understood that this was a period 
during which every effort was strained on either side 
and type followed type in rapid succession. 


BE2C 2-seater tractor biplane. 

1 or 2 Lewis guns. 
Observer in front. 
Speed 70 miles. 

Climb to 10,000 ft. in 50 mins. 
Service ceiling 11,000 feet. 

FE2B 2-seater pusher biplane. 

2 Lewis guns. 
Observer in front. 
Speed 75 miles. 

Climb to 10,000 feet in 40 

Service ceiling 12,000 feet. 

Morane 2-seater tractor 
(French) both mono and 

Same guns as BE2C, but with 

Speed 80 m.p.h. 

Climb 10,000 feet in 30 mins. 

Service ceiling 15,000 feet. 


Fokker Scout tractor mono- 

1 gun shooting through pro- 
peller, with deflectors. 

Speed 85 m.p.h. 

Climb 10,000 feet in 17 mins. 

Albatross Scout tractor bi- 

2 gun synchronized in line of 
flight. (First machine thus 

Speed 100 m.p.h. 
Also 2 seater Albatross ma- 

Roland Scout tractor biplane. 

armed as Albatross but not 

quite as fast. 
Also Roland 2-seater fighter, 

speed 90 m.p.h. 
Climb 10,000 feet in 20 mins. 

Halberstadt Scout tractor bi- 
plane, similar to Albatross. 




GERMAN ''albatross.' 



BRITISH— Continued. 
DH2 Scout pusher biplane. 
1 Lewis Gun on line of flight 

or swivelled. 
Speed 90 m.p.h. 
Climb 10,000 feet in 18 mins. 
Service ceiling 16,000 feet. 

FES Scout pusher biplane. 
1 Lewis Gun swivelled in line 

of flight. 
Speed 100 m.p.h. 
Climb 15,000 feet in 19 mins. 
Service ceiling 18,000 feet. 

GERMAIN— Continued. 

LVG 2-seater tractor. 

Albatross and Aviatik, re- 
conn, bombing, and photo. 

1 gun synchronized and 1 

Speed 85 m.p.h. 

Climb 10,000 in 25 mins. 

Service ceiling 18,000 feet. 




1 Lewis Gun over top of 

prop, or swivelled. 
Speed 100 m.p.h. 
Climb 10,000 feet in 12 mins. 
Service ceiling 19,000 feet. 

This was the first allied ma- 
chine to have a synchronized 
Vickers or Lewis gun in 

Spad Scout tractor biplane. 
1 synchronized Vickers gun 

firing in line of flight 

through propeller. 
Speed 120 m.p.h. 
Climb 10,000 feet in 9 mins. 
Service ceiling 20,000 feet 

In addition the British had a squadron or so of 
Sopwith 13^ Strutters, very fast and handy 2-seater 
tractors with observer in rear. Also some Bristol 
Scouts, Vickers pushers and Marty nsydes. 


The German was in 1916 provided with a gun which 
did fire through the propeller. This was on the Fokker. 
The advantage thus held by the enemy was also 
increased by the fact that their two-seaters carried 
pilots in front, thus affording the observer a better 
opportunity of firing to the rear. Our BE2C, for 
instance, found itself under a handicap in this respect. 
The downfall of the Fokker rests with the DH2, a 
pusher machine, which gave the forward-seated pilot a 
clear field of fire to the front. The DH2, in turn, 
yielded supremacy to the German Albatross Scout, 
a fast and efficient fighting machine. Thus went the 
battle, till in December, 1916, the Nieuport, Spad and 
Sopwith Scouts were our kings of the air. 

In April of this year began a concentration of 
British aerial force on the Somme, where artillery 
observation was for the next three months carried 
to the utmost in preparation for the great offensive 
staged to commence in July. At first it seemed as 
though our machines had the air to themselves, for up 
till the first week in June our registration proceeded 
with practically no coimter-battery work. So quiet 
was this front, that one pilot reports that he cannot 
remember seeing more than two German aeroplanes for 
six weeks. 

In June came greater activity on the part of the 
enemy, but it is without question that we held superior- 
ity until September, if at considerable cost. From 
September, however, to the middle of October, the 
Royal Flying Corps had its work cut out to cope with 
the increase in numbers and efficiency of German pilots, 
and the introduction of two fast and improved fighting 
scouts, the Halberstadt and Albatross D3 and D5. 

On the Somme front, approximating twenty-five 
miles, we had about twenty squadrons, equalling 
about 300 machines; these constituting the majority 
of our aerial force in France. Twelve were disposed 
for artillery work, the remainder for photography, 
reconnaissance and fighting. 









The battle proceeded with unprecedented in- 
tensity, and with it a never-ending aerial warfare. 
Pilots were rushed from England with a few hours' 
solo work and absolutely no gunnery practice, to 
find themselves instantly in the thick of the combat. 
It is, therefore, not astonishing that the wastage of 
our fighting men ran up to twenty-five per cent, per 

The filling up of the Royal Flying Corps combatant 
strength was made additionally diflicult, as the Corps 
could no longer draw from regimental officers now 
needed for the coming offensive by which it was 
proposed to reheve the tremendous pressure on the 
French at Verdun. 

It is true that the strength of the Force was, in 
anticipation, more than doubled during the three weeks 
which preceded the Somme, but this largely ex- 
hausted the available supphes of fighting personnel. 

How reasonable, therefore, that the estabUshed 
success of Canadian pilots, and the fact that in Canada 
lay an almost untapped reservoir of future strength, 
should turn the eyes of the War Office to that Do- 
minion. Double operations were planned for the 
Spring of 1917. The need was instant and imperative. 



Authority for the Royal Flying Corps, Canada, 
was given at the War Office in December of 1916, 
and shortly after, on December 21st, an important 
meeting took place at Adastral House, the head- 
quarters of the Air Board. Representatives from 
various branches of the service were present, and the 
situation in Canada was fully discussed with the 
following results. 

Formation of squadrons was to be pushed at once, 
and personnel sent out as opportunity oflfered. Re- 
cruiting offices were authorized, also one large air- 
craft park, its location to be fixed later. As to equip- 
ment, Curtiss machines had already been ordered and 
deHvery would commence almost at once from 
Buffalo. An establishment of 400 engines with a 
monthly wastage of 100 was considered reasonable. 

The use of other machines was discussed but left 
in abeyance for the meantime, and the meeting closed 
with the opinion that training could be carried on in 
Canada the year round except in February, the 
weather in that month being doubtful.J 

It was decided at the outset that everything of a 
business nature, such as the erection of buildings, pre- 
paration of aerodromes, purchase of suppUes, etc., was 
to be handled by the Imperial Munitions Board, 
through a Department of Aviation. This conclusion 
was largely influenced by the fact that in correspondence 
with the Ministry of Munitions, the Imperial Munitions 
Board had placed itself at the disposal of the War 
Office to aid in the formation of a Canadian training 
wing. Two engineer officers would be detailed to 
act as advisers on buildings and aerodromes. 

Such was the formal birth of the Royal Flying 
Corps, Canada. It may be asked why it was purposed 
to recruit and train in Canada by the agency of an 


Imperial wing, but it suffices to say that the work 
of this unit has been only one of the countless instances 
of cooperation between the mother country and the 
Dominion, that furthermore all arrangements entered 
into carried not only the consent and approval of the 
Canadian Government, but also the promise of every 
assistance, and that the utter fullness of the discharge 
of this promise is known best to those who are person- 
ally conversant with the various phases of the history 
of this unit of the Royal Flying Corps. 

At the further meeting of the Air Board, held at 
Adastral House, January 1st, 1917, the personnel of the 
advance party was selected. The administration section 
consisted of the Officer Conunanding, at that time 
lieutenant-colonel; two squadron conunanders — a major 
and a captain; one ffight commander — a captain; 
one flying officer — a Ueutenant. The supply section 
consisted of one park commander, one first-class 
equipment officer and two second-class equipment 
officers; these a major, captain and two Ueu- 
tenants. Two engineer officers, both majors — 
one of whom was of the Canadian Engineers and the 
other from the Royal Engineers services — followed a 
little later. The recruiting section, composed of a 
captain and three heutenants, completed the party. 
Mechanical transport of 21 vehicles was also sent. 

At this meeting the general premises governing the 
future operations of the wing were outHned, such as 
the intention to give only lower training in Canada, 
and Kaison between the unit and the Imperial 
Munitions Board. It was further determined to or- 
ganize twenty training squadrons. Owing to con- 
ditions in England at the moment, the question of 
personnel for the formation of the Canadian wing was 
difficult of solution, and it was stated quite frankly that 
the Royal Flying Corps, Canada, would be obHged to 
do its utmost to train both officers, non-commissioned 
officers and airmen for the various duties to be per- 


General and personnel equipment was arranged to 
be sent from England, but all machines and additional 
transport were to be obtained locally. The general 
purport of the meeting was, in brief, to provide the 
skeleton of a training unit, put this scanty personnel 
under the direction of the O.C. and trust to their 
united efforts to provide for that expanding output of 
partially trained pilots for which at the time there was 
such insistent demand. 

Coincident with all this, matters in Canada had 
already begun to take shape. There was in Toronto 
a small aeroplane factory, which for the past year 
or two had been turning out machines used at a 
private flying school some nine miles from the city. 
Authority was received by the Imperial Munitions 
Board from the Air Board to acquire this organization, 
which, although its output was necessarily limited, 
afforded an opportunity for future expansion, once 
suitable premises were secured. The machinery and 
equipment of this undertaking were forthwith moved 
into much larger buildings leased from a local 
engineering works, and took shape as the Canadian 
Aeroplanes Limited, an organization owned by the 
Imperial Government, whose product was intended 
primarily to meet the requirements of the new 
Canadian wing. 

Simultaneously there was formed the Aviation 
Section of the Imperial Munitions Board, to which 
section detailed reference is made elsewhere. Such, 
in short, were the arrangements which had been 
completed when on January 22nd the advance party of 
the Royal Flying Corps, Canada, arrived in Toronto. 

A word about local conditions will not be 
amiss. The country was, of course, deep in snow, and 
the winter period in its most trying phase. Recruiting, 
for which methods had still to be formulated, was 
complicated by the fact that no Military Service Act 
was in force in Canada, and the country had been 














apparently combed bare of those who desired to enUst 
voluntarily. It is true that the Royal Naval Air 
Service had for months been drawing excellent material 
from Canada, but this unit offered the inducement of 
a commission on enlistment, while the R.F.C. held 
no commissions in its outstretched hands, but merely 
the promise of months of arduous work before qualify- 
ing for the distinction. That the Corps was authorized 
to recruit in Canada was due to an Order in Council 
passed by the Canadian Government. Application 
was also made to the Department of Militia and 
Defence that the unit might be rationed, clothed and 
medically attended to by that Department. 

An excerpt taken from an early report on Canadian 
conditions to the Air Board notes that the Royal 
Flying Corps, Canada, was an Imperial unit, paid for 
by the Imperial Treasury and wholly independent of 
local military command. Also that instructions in the 
first instance were very indefinite regarding a host of 
important details, but that this fact was in the long 
run a blessing in disguise. 

A credit of four milKons sterling had been estab- 
lished with the Imperial Munitions Board for the 
purposes of the wing, and it now remained to take action 
as quickly as possible. 

That no time was lost may be gathered from the fact 
that the large C.E.F. Camp at Borden, some seventy 
miles north of Toronto, was inspected on January 
26th, and on the following day a contract was let under 
supervision of the Aviation Department of the Board 
for the construction of the first Canadian aerodrome 
on an outlying portion of this area. It was to comprise 
fifteen flight sheds, with all necessary buildings and 
equipment. Simultaneously, recruiting got under way. 
Groimd was also provided by the Department of MiHtia 
and Defence at Long Branch, some nine miles west of 
Toronto, where was formed the first flying unit of the 
Royal Flying Corps, Canada. 


During the last week of the month, a contract was 
let for the construction of a large factory for the 
Canadian Aeroplanes Limited, suppKes of engines and 
machines were secured from the Curtiss Manufactur- 
ing Company at Buffalo, and sites for additional 
groups of squadrons were selected at Leaside, three 
miles north of Toronto; Armour Heights, four miles 
still farther north; Rathbun and Mohawk, 130 miles 
east of Toronto. 

Such was the record for nine days' work. Thus 
the first of February found the unit with all major 
features of its programme settled, and on the threshold 
of a development which, as it progressed, was destined 
to reahze every anticipation. 



• « c • • • 

• •••••• • 

•^ •• » • • 

• « • • • 



This Department formed a many-sided organization, 
by means of which the physical and financial wants of 
the Royal Air Force, Can., were provided. It secured 
funds from the War Office, spent and accounted for 
them; designed, built, and equipped innumerable 
structures; purchased all suppHes from the sailmaker's 
needle to the aeroplane and bought materials from 
countless sources for a vast variety of needs. 

It delved into electrical and mechanical problems, 
sowed grass, bored wells, built railways, leased land, 
secured labour of all descriptions, engaged lawyers 
and advanced money. If the Royal Air Force was an 
Imperial brigade, this section of the "I.M.B." was no 
less a Canadian civilian battalion, composed of mem- 
bers representing an officer commanding, paymasters, 
quartermasters, engineers and sappers, etc., and main- 
taining a constant and helpful liaison, without which a 
certain history of mutual accompHshments would be 
the acme of brevity. 

The Department, for purposes of efficiency, was 
subdivided into the following sections: Executive, 
Purchasing, Construction, Transport, and Aeronautical 
Supply — all responsible to the Director of Aviation, 
and through him to the Imperial Munitions Board 
proper. The officers were: 

Director of Aviation. . G. A. Morrow, Esq., O.B.E. 

Secretary Mr. Geo. E. Wishart. 

Chief Engineer Mr. J. B. Carswell. 

Asst. Chief Engineer . . Mr. J. R. Hagelin. 

Purchasing Agent Mr. A. H. Mulcahey. 

Asst. Purchasing Agent Mr. A. S. McNinch. 
Supt. Aero. Supplies. . Mr. W. B. Cleland. 

The first section, composed of the Secretary and 
accountants, was responsible for all expenditures, and 
made weekly detailed returns to the Auditor of the 


Board in Ottawa. They dealt in milKons, and submitted 
vouchers for all disbursements, as well as reporting all 
executive transactions. The advantage of this co- 
operation with the parent organization which dealt in 
hundreds of miUions, is obvious. 

The Purchasing Section was manned by expert buyers 
in various branches, and furnished the entire needs of the 
brigade with the exception of rations, pay and medical 
service. Machinery, tools, boots, oil — there were some 
ten thousand articles in Stores Depot — all of which were 
secured by this section of the Department. 

The Construction Section, since the autumn of 1917, 
erected all buildings used by the brigade, and overhauled 
and remodelled other premises secured for their use. 
At the outset of operations, various contractors were 
employed — but, this practice terminated, the Construc- 
tion Section was organized under careful supervision 
of competent engineers of the Aviation Department 
to perform these and added duties. It purchased 
its own supphes and was responsible for prices and 
quantities, as well as for a Commissary Department 
which supphed employees with meals and accommo- 

Transportation — always a problem and especially 
so in wartime — was entrusted to an expert railwayman, 
skilled in harassing railway companies into good 
delivery. The moving of thousands of men to and 
from Texas, with hundreds of carloads of supplies, 
came under this section with most creditable results. 

Aeronautical supphes were in charge of an expert in 
aeroplanes and their parts, who stood between the 
aeroplane factory and the aircraft equipment section 
of the brigade. Through him were followed up all 
machines, engines and spares ordered by the Purchas- 
ing Section. Contact was maintained hereby with 
American factories, to which periodical visits were 
made when the brigade was dependent on these 
extraneous sources of supply. 











Such in brief are the fundamentals, but without 
further detail the service given by the Aviation Depart- 
ment could not be reaUzed. The following notes 
therefore, should prove of interest. 

Accounts were under the immediate direction of the 
Secretary. So speedily was the Department organized 
that time did not afford to investigate either the system 
to be adopted or the number of accounts to be opened. 
Flexibility was in consequence desirable, and when in 
October, 1918, a new set of ledger headings were called 
for by the Air Ministry, there was neither difficulty 
nor delay in remodelling the existing accounts to the 
new form. 

The Department was authorized to make disburse- 
ments from an imprest fund when immediate payment 
was necessary, but this method was only used when 
unavoidable, as for instance, outlay in staff payrolls, 
initial payments for leases, and in cases where a dis- 
count period had nearly lapsed. For such outlay 
repayment cheque to the fund was always subsequently 

The standard method of meeting obhgations was 
by sending certified bills to the Finance Department, 
Imperial Munitions Board, at Ottawa, where cheques 
were issued therefor. These bills were hsted in 
alphabetical order, and also chronologically under each 
creditor's name. Confusion of any kind was entirely 

During those months when contractors were em- 
ployed in the erection of buildings and other work, 
the Aviation Department was continually represented 
at the contractor's office by an auditing staff. These 
officials checked all time worked, and all disbursements 
of every nature on the part of the contractor. Such 
obhgations were paid by the latter, who then forwarded 


the receipted bills to the Department. There they 
were recorded and sent on to Ottawa for payment. 

Extraneous accounting was done in the United 
States. When a large part of the brigade went to 
Texas in November, 1917, the omnipresent 'T.M.B." 
accompanied in the person of the Chief Purchasing 
Agent, fortified with an imprest fund. This, deposited 
in the National City Bank, permitted local payments, 
which in turn were submitted to the Toronto Office 
with the necessary vouchers. In addition to all the 
foregoing, the Board at Ottawa was represented by a 
travelling auditor who checked all expenditure before 
it was submitted to Ottawa. Thus the Chief Auditor 
was kept constantly informed, and enabled to make 
regular reports to the Ministry of Munitions in Eng- 
land of all disbursements by the Aviation Department. 

On page 58 will be found a monthly total of these 
amounts, as apart from expenditure by the brigade. 
It is impossible to make comparisons, but it is never- 
theless believed that in no section of any mihtary 
organization has better value been secured for the 
amount involved. 

The Purchasing Section, up to January 1st, 1919, 
issued 15,700 orders and handled 37,300 invoices. 
Business of this magnitude demands system, and in 
this case got it. On page 35 is a diagram showing not 
only the procedure of purchase, but also the history of 
invoices when received, reflecting the cooperation be- 
tween consumer and purchaser to secure assurance of 
the dehvery of what has been ordered, before payment. 

Mention has been made of the variety of the pur- 
chases arranged by this section, and to this might be 
added the fact that extremely large quantities were 



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Ihdbsts troh Units 

Stobes Depot 
Indents Collected into Requisitions 

(Appboved bt O. i/c A.E.) 


Recobdbd in Ftle Room as to Date or Rbceipt 


Tenokbs Asked by Mail, Wibb ob Tklkphomb 
accobding to ubqenct 

Obdebs Giten Requisitions Ftled 

(6 COPIES made) consbcutitelt 

fo or Invoices S Copibs to Si 

Gomtbactob Fbbmanent Ftle Fob Checking or Invoices S Copibs to Stobbs Dbpot 
Orders show quantities, prices, delivery dates, etc. 


Ftle Room, Invoice Dbpt. 


Rbcobded in Invoice Ledoeb 
Checked against Obdebs 

Ftlb Stobes Depot Stobes Depot Stobbs Dbpot 

Rktubned Retubnbd 

(Inspection note (Inspection notb 

attached) attached) 

Ftle Accounting Dbpt. 


Fuel requirements for the current year, for instance, 
were estimated at nearly 30,000 tons, and, in spite of 
certain oflScial privileges extended to the Department, 
shipments of this magnitude called for very special 
attention, particularly at a time when great public 
anxiety was felt in securing fuel supply. 


GasoKne requirements comprised about 16,000 
gallons per month, and this, owing to theUmited storage 
capacity at the various wings, was very carefully watched 
and traced in transit. It speaks well for the Depart- 
ment that during a period when the railway system 
was congested with freight, flying was not at any time 
interfered with owing to shortage of this supply. 

The Transportation Section was indebted to the 
wonderful cooperation of contractors and railway 
companies for assistance in overcoming delays due 
to this congestion, as well as to the great shortage of 
raw material. 

Business between the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor 
Corporation and the British Ministry of Munitions was 
carried in the Section's purchasing ledgers, as well 
as records of all shipments from the Canadian Aero- 
planes Limited to the Signal Service of the U.S. 
Government. The amount of material shipped to 
Texas in 1917 from the factory amounted to not less 
than four and a half million dollars. This was a mutuaUy 
acceptable arrangement by which training in the U.S. 
was carried out most successfully and the output of 
the factory maintained at a satisfactory point. 

Conjointly with the Purchasing Section, there 
must be considered its kindred bureau, the Traffic 
Branch. This body traced and dehvered all materials 
to their proper destination, checked all freight and ex- 
press bills, and apphed them against their proper 
invoices and orders. Investigation of conditions gov- 
erning freight rates was a special study, and in one 
instance the Traffic Branch was able to prove to 
the Canadian Freight Association that the minimum 
carload weight previously required on shipments 
of aeroplanes and spares was in point of fact unjustified 
considering the light nature of the material. This 
was subsequently increased, resulting in a marked 
saving in the transportation of such material to and 


from the various camps. The Texas movement in- 
volved 375 cars and 5,000 men. This was an admirably 
managed undertaking, so successful that within five 
days from the date of leaving Canada our machines 
were climbing into the air above Texas aerodromes. 

The Section of Aeronautical Supply, as has 
been stated, maintained Kaison between the Aircraft 
Equipment Branch of the brigade and the factory; 
also it acted as a bufi'er state between the brigade and the 
manufacturer of such technical equipment as cameras, 
wireless instruments, machine guns, etc., and the 
tremendous number of spare parts involved. 

The progress in the training of pilots has from time 
to time demanded new equipment of multitudinous 
variety. The advanced nature of the work of both 
aeroplane and engine repair park called for a steady 
stream of those individual members which when 
assembled constitute the completed machine. The 
selection, purchase, and delivery of the technical equip- 
ment of the brigade, fell in short to this section, 
which executed the business transactions involved as 
required by the Aircraft Equipment Branch at 

Liaison between the two has been admirable, and the 
result, therefore, eminently satisfactory. 

The Construction Section has, in the course of its 
strenuous existence, carried out the following work: 

63^2 miles of railways. 
223^2 miles of roadways. 
18 miles of water mains. 
10 miles of sewers. 
27 miles of aerodrome drainage. 
300 miles of telephone and power lines. 
26 individual steam heating plants. 
6 central steam heating plants. 
400 buildings using 18 million feet of lumber. 


It had, furthermore, put in five thousand plumbing 
fixtures; cleaned, rolled and seeded nearly four thou- 
sand acres of land for flying purposes, and done a com- 
missary business which touched forty thousand meals 
a week. 

In these activities it spent five and a half milUon 

From all of which it may be seen that what was 
accomplished equals the building of a modern town with 
streets, sanitation of every description and every 
physical equipment. 

Had it been a town the work had been easier, but 
as it was there were many areas, with two hundred 
miles between extreme points. 

In dispensing with contractors and assuming itself 
all obhgations the Department was swayed by but one 
fact. The requirements of the brigade were so varying 
and so subject to training considerations, that it 
seemed impossible to adequately provide for all con- 
tingencies by contract. The change took place in the 
autumn of 1917, and in the months that followed the 
Munitions Board profited by unity of control, by the 
opportunity of large bulk purchases of material, and by 
every consequent advantage accruing to a single 
organization which directs many scattered operations. 

The Chief Engineer of this section directed executive 
work, his assistant supervised construction. With them 
were the heads of the draughting room, the estimating 
section and the construction purchasing department, 
together with the chief electrician, the plumbing super- 
intendent, the heating superintendent, road superin- 
tendent and the head of the commissary and transport 
section. In the section ofiice a staff of fifty was em- 
ployed, when in the middle of October, 1918, there 


§ 5 ^ 

Si 5 Q 

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were 2,200 men on the payroll, 
diagram illustrates the organization :- 

Chik7 Enoimxkb 

The following 

Residknt Enoinksbs Assistant CHiBr Enoimbbb Chibv Dbauohtshen Secbbtabt 


Pboductioh Cbisf Plumbimq Hbatiko Roads Butbb Commissabt Accountant 
Clbbk Elbctbician Sup't. Sup't. Sup't. Managbb 



The Construction Section was, in fact, pivoted 
so that it might at any moment turn its attention to 
new work without departing from its main and central 
programme, and to this flexibility is attributable the 
unquestionable success it achieved. 



This organization saw the Ught officially in De- 
cember, 1916, and in twenty-one months had turned 
out some 2,900 aeroplanes, valued at nearly fourteen 
milHon dollars. Incidentally, the factory covered 
about six acres, and employed something over two 
thousand hands. 

It was some time before Canadians realized that 
the undertaking was that of the Imperial Government 
acting through the Imperial Munitions Board, more 
famiharly known as the "I.M.B." The primary 
purpose was that of supplying aeroplanes for the Royal 
Flying Corps, but actually some four and a half 
millions' worth of output went to aid training in the 
United States. 

The officials of the Company were: — 

President Sir Frank Baillie, K.B.E. 

Vice-President Mr. Frank P. Wood. 

Director Mr. W. Parkyn Murray. 

Manager Mr. E. T. Musson. 

Secretary Mr. P. H. Brooks. 

Chief Engineer Mr. M. R. Riddell. 

Work commenced in leased premises, where the 
plant of a small factory which had a year or so before 
turned out a few experimental machines was for three 
months utiHzed. This, admittedly a makeshift, ex- 
panded in April into permanent premises on Dufferin 
Street, covering ultimately some six acres of floor space, 
with innumerable mechanical appliances specially de- 
signed for the work. The building of this factory 
proved something of an achievement, being completed 
in about two and one-half months, a notable record 
even in a country where quick construction was the rule 
of the day. The site, carefully chosen, lay surrounded 
by the homes of large numbers of technical trades- 
























• • • • • 

' •• • • 





men, and this helped in no small degree to ensure at 
all times a full force of highly skilled employees. 

The machine adopted for use by the Royal Flying 
Corps was the Canadian JN4, of simple design and 
presenting no unusual difficulty in manufacture. As 
work progressed, however, it became apparent that the 
type could be largely improved by change of design and 
fabrication, and there was evolved a machine which, 
while presenting the same appearance as its predecessor, 
contained nevertheless certain fundamental and radical 
alterations. Among other points remodelled were the 
landing gear — the substitution of the *'joy stick" for 
the former control wheel, the adoption of split trailing 
edge instead of flattened tubing, and, most important, 
tail units made principally of metal instead of wood, 
resulting in an increased factor of safety, especially in 
the rudder and vertical stabiUzer. Progress without 
change is impossible, and thus it proved in this under- 

It will be understood that given soundness of design 
there remains to be provided good workmanship and 
the best and most suitable materials. The former was 
procured without much difficulty, but the supply of the 
latter involved much thought and experiment, it being 
always remembered that the ideal machine combines a 
maximum strength with a minimum weight. 

Linen for the covering of wings, etc., was imported 
fu"st from Ireland, but submarine activity made it 
imperative that a substitute be secured. It was found 
at the Wabasso Cotton Company's mills in Three 
Rivers, Quebec. Here was secured, for the special 
purpose required, a cotton fabric of remarkable strength. 
One inch in width is able to support some eighty 
pounds, and this with a weight which does not exceed 
four and a half ounces a square yard. Its adoption 
was at once successful, and it proved capable, when 
treated with "dope" — a waterproof and windproof 
solution with celluloid-like finish — of performing the 
same service as that of the most expensive Irish linen. 


After fabric came wood, the quality of which was 
required to be above anything hitherto known in the 
lumber trade. Free from knots, of extreme length, 
with no "wind shakes," swirly grain or "pitch pockets," 
it seemed at first unprocurable. Ash for the longerons or 
longitudinals of the fuselage, and spruce for wing beams, 
wing edges, etc., was of imperative necessity. The 
market was searched, but what material was available 
proved to yield but a fraction of its total in satisfactory 
timber. Then, driven by urgent need, the "I.M.B." 
organized a department in Vancouver and began to 
buy for itself on the shores of the Pacific. That its 
first purchase was rushed by express in carloads from 
the Western Coast will indicate how extreme was the 
pressure for sound material. The illustrations on pages 32 
and 34 give some idea of the magnitude of the operations 
required to produce that exact quahty of lumber which 
the modern aeroplane demands. 

It is interesting to note that even with this admir- 
able supply seciu*ed, it was found that certain members 
were so long that it proved necessary to build them 
up, and, in the building, the Canadian Aeroplanes 
Limited evolved a scarfed, saw-toothed splice, since 
adopted as standard by Britain and the United 
States. Repeated tests proved that greater strength 
was thus secured than that of solid lumber of the same 

The Canadian Aeroplanes Limited propeller is 
five-ply white oak, glued, compressed and formed up 
by machinery that is almost human — and took its 
origin from a lathe designed by Peter the Great to 
make gun stocks. It is a far cry from Russia to 
Toronto, but the principle is identical. No "C.A.L." 
propeller has shown manufacturing or engineering 
defect. The successor of Peter's lathe carves them, 
fom* at a time, to one thirty-second of their finished 
form, and the final touches and balancing are hand 
work. To anyone who has seen a nine-foot propeller 
running at 1,500 revolutions per minute, its blade 


points cutting the air at the rate of eight miles a 
minute, it will be apparent how fine a workmanship 
and accurate a design is embodied here. 

From wood pass to metal. Fuselage and internal 
wing bracing is with piano-wire which will stand a 
pull of a ton, though the members to which it ia 
anchored weigh but a few pounds. Interplane bracing 
will live up to a ton and a half, and the control wires 
will stand the same test. So accurate are these latter 
that in process of their manufacture the heated metal 
is drawn through a forming die made of an aperture 
in a diamond. 

In the autumn of 1918 it was decided to under- 
take the manufacture of a faster and more modern 
type of machine — the Avro — and to this object the 
factory diverted its energies. At the date of the 
armistice two had been turned out. These machines, 
equipped with 130 horse-power Clerget engines, prom- 
ised excellent service, and underwent all tests to the 
complete satisfaction of all concerned. No less than 
one hundred additional had been fabricated and were 
ready for assembly when hostihties ceased. 

Design — material — workmanship — inspection! 
These are the four cardinal features of the modern 
machine. That all have been amply provided in the 
output of the Canadian Aeroplanes Limited is best 
evidenced by the fact that not a single one of nearly 
three thousand aeroplanes turned out has been 
charged with any accident attributable to any fault 
in design or manufacture. 

From aeroplane to flying boat was a natural transi- 
tion in an organization so finely balanced and com- 
pletely equipped, and in April, 1918, the Canadian 
Aeroplanes Limited undertook to build for the United 
States navy a fleet of 30 F-5 flying boats, the largest 
produced to date on this side of the Atlantic. The 
contract involved competition with two other com- 
panies. The latter had been in the business from 


two to four years, and had on hand not only ample 
material but also a large staff of assembling mechanics. 
In the race that followed, the Canadian Aeroplanes 
Limited finished three weeks ahead — an illustration of 
the fact that the best type of organization is that 
which is not so wedded to one class of output as to be 
unable to adapt its methods and its plant to kindred, if 
varying, undertakings. So satisfactory was the work 
to the U.S. authorities, that it called forth the following 
letter from the American admiral in charge : — 

"On account of the excellent workmanship of 
Canadian Aeroplanes shown in the construction 
of navy flying boats, the bureau is glad to recom- 
mend the facilities of your plant, and it is hoped 
that additional work in aircraft construction may 
be secured elsewhere." 

The feat was not without effort. The thirty boats 
contracted for have been dehvered, the first being 
turned out within three months from receipt of order. 
The shipments included spares to the extent of one 
additional boat in every three, exclusive of hull. It was 
not necessary to engage any additional staff, but it was 
necessary to give the training required to convert the 
aeroplane builder into the boat builder. This con- 
struction filled in a period between orders for machines 
for the Royal Air Force, but it involved the purchasing 
of special material from the United States, in which 
market the U.S. competitors of the company were 
already firmly established. 

Boat building was, however, but a side issue of 
the primary purpose of the organization. It was 
formed to supply an Imperial brigade with ample 
and satisfactory aeroplanes. That this was done is 
unquestionable; but it is questionable whether those 
responsible for its organization and those under 
whose guiding hands it grew so amazingly foresaw the 
proportion the business was to assume or the peculiarly 
intimate relationship it estabhshed with the work 






of the brigade. The various reports of the General 
Officer Commanding on this subject pay unstinted 
tribute to the excellence of the service rendered. More 
than this, it is due to the quahties of the Canadian 
JN4 machine as manufactured in Toronto by the 
Canadian Aeroplanes Limited that training in flying 
by the Royal Air Force was so advanced that it covered 
the practice of all aerial manoeuvres and "stunts" 
possible on any machine. 

In the graphs on pages 54 and 55 will be found certain 
data of interest giving the progress of manufacture, etc., 
but the essential figures are those not written. They 
are to be found, if computable, in the service rendered 
to the Empire by some three thousand pilots who 
first took to the air in machines made by this great 
national plant. 








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Herewith is given a diagram presenting the net 
cost of the work of the brigade in Canada. The 
disbursements indicated include the total of all sums 
paid out both by the Corps and the Aviation Department 
of the I.M.B. 

This cost, being $9,835 per pilot trained, will, it 
is estimated, be reduced to $9,660 when the various 
assets of the brigade have been liquidated. It will 
be seen that no amount has been apportioned against 
the complete training of 137 observers, and the partial 
training of 3,500 cadets who were on the strength and 
in various stages of ground tuition in November, 1918. 

From December, 1917 to April, 1918, both brigade 
and Imperial Munitions Board expenditures show a 
decrease. This is due to the fact that for these months 
the cost of aeroplanes, engines, spares, etc., were met 
by the U.S. Signal. Service, for whom the Corps trained 
a large number of pilots. The amount thus saved by 
the Corps may be considered as approximately equal 
to that spent on the partial training of 3,500 cadets and 
included in the gross sum mentioned. 

The increase in outlay by the Imperial Munitions 
Board in the autumn of 1918 was occasioned by a large 
building programme, designed to accommodate the 
entire brigade in winter quarters, no further move to 
Texas being contemplated. When hostilities ceased 
this accommodation was practically finished. 

It will be noted that the winter of 1918 found the 
brigade with its capital expenditure complete, and 
subject only to such maintenance charges as rations, 
pay, repairs, etc. Had training, therefore, been con- 
tinued, it is without doubt that pilots would have been 
turned out at a cost very much less than that above 





















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The duties undertaken by the headquarters staflF of 
the Corps were, in many respects, much more onerous 
than those which fall to the lot of a similar estabUsh- 
ment in Great Britain, and comprised not only the 
routine work of the brigade, but also very many 
functions which under home conditions would have been 
assumed by either the War Office or the Air Ministry. 

Looking back at the past two years, it appears 
that although the headquarters burden was thus 
increased, the arrangement proved distinctly to the 
advantage of the Corps, resulting as it did in the 
centrahzation of authority and a constant unity of 
purpose and procedure which otherwise would have 
been difficult of achievement. 

To make the matter perfectly clear, the Royal Air 
Force, Canada, must be considered as a unit operating 
outside the boundaries of the usual activities of the 
Air Ministry, and endowed with special authority and 
freedom of action, but handicapped, nevertheless, by 
certain limitations, which, although greatly alleviated 
by the helpful attitude of the Canadian authorities, 
made it imperative that extreme care should be used 
both in policy and action. 

It is obvious from the chapter which deals with 
the matter of recruiting, that particular judgment had 
to be used in the means adopted to bring the Corps up 
to the necessary strength, and it was doubly important 
that every precaution be taken to avoid enUsting men 
who were subject to the provisions of the Canadian 
Military Service Act. 

Only in very special cases where the appUcant's 
qualifications made the enlistment desirable, was any 
recruit signed on who came under the provision of this 


The organization and formation of units was, of 
course, constantly subject to fluctuations in recruiting, 
and that these units were so soon brought up to 
workable strength, speaks well for the care given in 
this respect. 

The arrangements made between Brigade Head- 
quarters and the Department of Mihtia and Defence 
in Ottawa were all important; and negotiations for 
medical service, rations, etc., etc., having been com- 
pleted with satisfaction to the Canadian government, 
it fell to headquarters staff to maintain a constant and 
careful Uaison with the various departments involved. 
In addition there were also many important con- 
ferences at Washington, these resulting in a complete 
understanding between the U.S. Signal Service and the 
brigade, which understanding took admirable shape in 
the reciprocal training agreement so successfully carried 
out by the Corps in Canada and Texas. 

ResponsibiUty for training in Canada lay with the 
officer of headquarters staff on this duty, and constant 
touch was maintained with Great Britain in order 
that the methods of the Canadian unit might always 
reflect every recent advance in the system adopted. 

Reference has been made elsewhere to the exceUent 
service given by the Curtiss engine and Canadian JN4 
aeroplane. This machine became out of date a little 
later, but such were its qualifications of strength and 
manoeuvring capacity, that, during the more recent 
period of the work of the brigade all pilots were sent 
overseas with flying instruction practically complete, 
needing only an introduction to machines, which 
although faster and more modern, were able to perform 
few manoeuvres which had not already been done on 
the JN4. 

Owing to the fact that one-half of the personnel 
of the brigade was in a constant state of flux, and 
moving forward from unit to unit, additional work was 
thrown upon both the Records and Quartermaster's 











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department, and the prompt manner in which these 
organizations adapted themselves to the changing needs 
is worthy of mention. The move to Texas created an 
involved situation which was made workable only by a 
very special effort and complete cooperation with the 
Imperial Munitions Board, and, in spite of the strain 
thus occasioned, the success of this move must always 
be recalled with particular satisfaction by those 
responsible for its arrangement. 

The Quartermaster branch discharged, as well, the 
duty of a Quartermaster-General's department, this 
being but one instance out of many in which the 
obligations of individual sections of the brigade were 
enlarged till they paralleled the work elsewhere per- 
formed by the Air Board or the War Office. 

The composition of the Canadian units decided 
upon by the War Office, varied considerably from that 
of units already estabhshed in England, and, in conse- 
quence, the mobihzation and equipment tables hereto- 
fore in use proved in most respects inapphcable to 
Canadian requirements. Thus there was thrown upon 
the Aircraft Equipment branch the almost unprece- 
dented duty of compihng all the data determining every 
item of equipment to be supplied for carrying on the 
work of the Corps. 

It was provided from the first that responsibility 
for price and point of purchase would be borne by the 
Aviation Department, and the burden of the A.E. 
branch ceased when requisitions were handed to the 
former. This, however it eased the situation, still left 
upon the A.E. branch the constant onus of working out 
in detail the entire list of engines and aeroplanes, with 
their multitudinous spares, and the comphcated list of 
stores, technical and otherwise, requisite for the training 
of a continuous stream of pilots. 

The records of the branch show that while the 
supply of machines from the Canadian Aeroplanes 
factory was invariably dependable, considerable diffi- 


culty was experienced in securing deliveries of engines, 
and, on occasions, machines were sent to the wings 
without engines, the latter to be installed when received. 

Motor transport being carefully considered, the 
original orders proved practically sufficient for all 
needs, and there was purchased only about one half of 
the equipment officially authorized. Had not the 
units at Beamsville and Hamilton been organized, the 
provision made early in 1917 would have proved 
sufficient. In the supply of aeroplane spares, the 
excellent service rendered by the repair sections of the 
various flying units in making broken parts serviceable, 
steadily reduced the monthly proportional outlay. 

It is not possible in the scope of a page to go into the 
innumerable details, the solution of which rested with 
the A.E. branch. Sufficient funds were of course 
available, and an admirable cooperation with the 
Aviation Department of the I.M.B. always saved the 
situation — even sometimes at the last moment — but the 
difficulties overcome were very serious, and there were 
times when the imperative demands of the flying wings 
seemed almost impossible to satisfy. Added to this, 
there was increased difficulty in securing supphes after 
the United States entered the war and placed em- 
bargoes on many classes of goods. In spite of all, 
however, flying was never practicaUy affected by any 
lack of material. 

Since it is desired only to give an outhne of head- 
quarters duties, it is asked that the diagram on 
page 71 be referred to. The various subdivisions were 
found to be satisfactory and workable, and to reflect 
with accuracy those administrative needs on the 
fulfillment of which depended both the progress of the 
unit with its co-related branches, and the quaUty of the 
pilots it was privileged to turn out. 




'A.0. 1 

Lt.-CoL. J. RUBIE 

General Staff duties. 

Organization and form- 
ation of units. 



Arrangement for move- 
ment of troops. 

H -a 
O E 

■A.O. 2 

Maj. J. M. Mitchell 

General routine. 
General administration 
Headquarters orders. 
Officers' records. 
Posting and employ- 
ment of officers. 

-A.O, lA. 

Lt.-Col. a. K. Tylee 

General supervision of 


Col. F. R. G. Hoare 

Analysis and provision 
of all tec hnical supplies 

Records — Major H. B. Denton 
Recruiting all cadets and airmen 
and records of all non-commis- 
sioned members of the Force. 

Works Section — 

Major 0. C. Macpherson 
Supervision of all structural and 
aerodrome work. 

Discipline — 

Major C. R. Huggins 
Courts martial. 
Courts of enquiry re absentees. 

Capt. J. L Langmuir 
Assistant Provost Marshal. 

Maj. O'Reilly 

Medical Boards 
Dental Services 

Organization and control of 
all medical services. 

A,0. ^^.— Capt. F. D. Williams 

Pay and allowances. 
Examination of unit orders. 
Civilian claims. 

Transportation Warrants — 

Capt. G. J. Blackmore 

A.O. IB. — ^Maj. M. a. Seymour 
All Flying training; syllabus of 
instruction; courts of enquiry 
re flying accidents; reports and 
graphs re training progress; 
technical matters regarding 
flying (no material); technical 
training of officers, non-com- 
missioned officers, cadets and 

A.O. iC— Capt. W H. Farnell 
Photography; supervision of this 
instruction at all units. 

A.E. 1. — Major J. Inwood 
Assisting A.E, 

Quartermaster Services — 

Capt. G. J. Blackmore 




























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To achieve a brief review of the progressive instruc- 
tion received by pilots and observers, it is unfortunately 
necessary to omit reference to many developments 
which from time to time built up the system finally 
secured. This is the more regrettable, since the 
foundations were laid under strenuous circumstances. 
Insufficient staffs provided with meagre equipment, 
much of which they themselves had to evolve, did 
notable service at a time when the demands upon them 
were constantly increasing. It is hoped, therefore, 
that those to whom the brigade is indebted for a vast 
amount of admirable and constructive effort will 
realize the impossibiUty of any descriptive detail con- 
cerning it, and will find in the ultimate methods 
adopted the essential fruit of their early labours. 

To the photographic record of training on these 
pages it is now desired to add certain data concerning 
the routine of instruction. 

The cadet enlisting in the Spring of 1918 proceeded 
to the Cadet Wing at Long Branch after passing 
through the Recruits Depot, where he received an 
initiation into infantry training and buzzing (tele- 
graphic receiving and sending) up to his ability in the 
period. Here he was clothed, equipped and given 
lectures on personal hygiene, discipline, and the prim- 
ary features of the R.A.F. This course did not 
exceed two weeks. 

During the eight weeks at the Cadet Wing the 
pupil's horizon broadened. He found also that every 
inducement was offered to proficiency and hard work, 
for instruction continued even in hospital, provided he 
was fit to receive it. Sports and physical exercise 
kept him in condition, and leave was frequent. 








His wireless was carried on to receiving and sending 
eight words a minute, and instruction was given in 
such a way that he was untroubled by the presence 
of the cadet beside him, because that cadet received 
and sent with a different wave length of transmission 
current. Panneau (see illustration on page 199) 
was read at four words a minute and practice alter- 
nated with the use of Aldis signal lamps. Ground 
strips, reproduced electrically in miniature, required 
correct reading. The method of locating flashes 
(symbolic of shell bursts) on clock coding target 
(page 158) demanded special attention to the point of 
locating ten successive flashes. 

Came then aerial navigation, the knowledge of which 
is essential to aU who travel by air. An extremely 
interesting study this, covering sketching, compass 
work — both magnetic and prismatic, definitions and 
conventional signs used — in fact all such information 
as is necessary not only to read intelUgently and quickly 
any civil or military map and absorb the information 
often so vitally necessary, but also to construct one 
which shaU be legible for general military and 
artiUery purposes. 

It follows, then, that the cadet when he arrived 
at the School of Aeronautics had already moulted 
much of the civihan. The plumage of the pilot was 
beginning to sprout. 

At this point his education was carried still further. 
He appKed his map-reading knowledge to an immense 
reproduction of part of the actual theatre of war, 
showing whole battlefields in faithful outline. He 
studied the plotting of an aerial course from point to 
point, with a given wind velocity and speed of aero- 
plane. He delved into air and weather conditions 
in northern France and learned what targets looked 
like when seen from the air. He began photo- 
graphy, the study of artillery work, zone call systems 
and those simple yet enormously important and pre- 


arranged signals between battery and aeroplane. 
Here, too, he was introduced to the science of bombing. 

Moving on to engines of various types, he absorbed 
their principles of design and operation — ^with practical 
work on the engines themselves which were set up on 
running stands at Camp Leaside and subjected to 
every temporary indisposition imaginable in order 
that the pupil might diagnose and remedy the trouble 
(page 83). With the engines he studied the design of 
the aeroplane, assembling and dismantling till its 
structure became simple and famihar (page 172). 
Coincident with all this was his education as a soldier, 
with lectures in mihtary law, procedure, the organiza- 
tion of various arms of the service, the internal economy 
of R.A.F. squadrons, wings, parks and depots and the 
various phases of active service duty. 

Congested as it may appear, there was in actuahty 
no congestion. This was due not only to the fact that 
instruction was invariably progressive, but also such 
mechanical inventiveness had been displayed by the 
staJBf that whenever practical instruction involving 
mechanics of any nature was given, there was always 
produced the relative mechanical device which showed 
the practical apphcation of the theory and demon- 
strated quite unmistakably its physical character. 

From the School of Aeronautics to which further 
reference is made (page 162) the cadet proceeded to the 
Armament School. In the chapter under this heading 
his course is sufficiently outhned, and by the time he 
arrived at a flying wing he had mastered the theoretical 
and mechanical essentials of the principles and appli- 
ances which were to control his further development. 

It was recognized that if instruction in wireless 
ceased on arrival jat the wings, the pupil at once became 
rusty in these requirements, and, from the commence- 
ment of the Corps, work classes were invariably held 
in this and kindred subjects at all flying units. 


Now came the time to which the cadet had been 
looking forward since his enhstment. Entrusted to a 
competent instructor, he embarked on flying tuition. 
Here also was practice in aerial photography, vertical 
and obhque, and bomb dropping by wireless, in which 
the pilot signalled the release of an imaginary bomb, 
the message being received by an observer in a camera 
obscura hut, who noted also the position of the machine 
at the instant of release. Formation and fifty-mile 
cross-country flights were practised, the former as in 
active service, the latter giving opportunity for map 
reading in the air, and the actual coUection of a variety 
of information which paraUeled the duty to be per- 
formed at the front. 

Here, too, the cadet climbed to 6,000 feet and re- 
mained at this height for fifteen minutes. He flew 
through clouds guided by compass, read ground strips 
and Aldis lamp signals, and in general comported 
himself exactly as though in the air over enemy 
country, and when he ultimately reported at Camp 
Leaside it was as a skiUed pilot thoroughly at home in 
his machine and ready for the two final periods of his 

At Leaside, the 43rd Wing, came final tuition in 
artillery cooperation. Here the cadet absorbed to his 
capacity all that science and a particularly brilliant 
system of instruction could give him. The picture 
target of former days was reproduced on a huge scale, 
and from work on this the pupil took to the air. From 
an altitude of 2,000 feet he noted bursts presumed to 
be those of batteries, located them on his map and 
wirelessed their position to the receiving battery sta- 
tion, correcting and directing its fire. Information 
was sent down describing the effect of barrage fire, the 
movement of troops, the location of wire and similar 
details. Contact patrol work was studied, as was 
indeed every feature of artillery cooperation duty, even 
to the wearing of gauntlets when sending wireless. 


All through the period of training his physical con- 
dition was regarded as of prime importance; and 
continual exercises, so arranged as to develop every 
bodily power, and, in consequence, every mental 
activity, were faithfully practised. The result was a 
human mechanism, fit and alert, sound and responsive, 
and capable of being brought to the highest possible 
pitch of efficiency. 

At the School of Aerial Fighting came the last step 
in the development of the pilot. Armed with Vickers 
and Lewis guns he went through a final course of 
ground gunnery which demonstrated the problems and 
mechanics of the art of shooting to the last degree. Tak- 
ing to the air, first with another pilot, he shot at full- 
sized silhouettes anchored in Lake Ontario a mile from 
shore. Later, armed with a camera gun loaded with 
film, he undertook aerial practice on a brother cadet, 
the developed film showing the accuracy of his aim. 
Aerial tactics were carried out, and every imaginable 
manoeuvre of attack and escape has been observable 
for months at this most interesting of camps. Finally, 
equipped mentally and physically, with all that the 
British Empire could do for him, he left for either 
overseas as the highest product of the R.A.F., Can., 
or to the School of Special Flying to be tested as an 
instructor, an equally arduous but more thankless 





The North Toronto wing was the third flying station 
of the brigade to go into action. It was subdivided into 
two units, Leaside and ArmoiK Heights, the ground for 
the former being most generously offered free of charge 
by the York Land Company and the town of Leaside ; 
while for the use of the latter area the Corps is in- 
debted to F. B. Robins, Esq. 

Actual construction commenced on May 21st. 
Leaside, comprising 222 acres, presented an admirable 
surface which was carefully drained. The structural 
programme called for nine flight sheds, together with 
instructional and repair buildings, etc. At the close 
of hostilities there was accommodation for 89 ofiicers, 
230 cadets, 83 warrant officers and sergeants, and about 
600 rank and file, the latter being housed in a large 
factory building, the use of which was secured from the 
Leaside Munitions Company. In the autumn of 1918, 
work was commenced on a central heating plant 
serving the officers' and cadets' quarters. 

The territory north, east and west of Leaside 
presented a country with fairly large fields and but 
Httle wooded land, and there was in consequence 
every opportunity for forced landings. As this station 
was the main point at which training was given in 
artillery cooperation, a most complete system of 
observation huts connected by telephones, was con- 
structed and dotted the countryside for miles around. 

Leaside has always been a point of interest to 
visitors on account of its proximity to Toronto, and has 
had the honor of inspection by H.R.H. Prince Arthur 
of Connaught and the Duke of Devonshire, at that time 
Governor-General of Canada. From Leaside also started 
the aerial mail which, under the auspices of the Aero Club 


of Canada, made several trips to Montreal and Ottawa, 
and demonstrated the great advantage that will no 
doubt accrue from the use of aerial transport for 
this purpose. 

At Armour Heights were the squadrons detailed 
to give instruction in what is known as the Armour 
Heights course. The aerodrome lies some five miles 
north of Toronto. Here accommodation was provided 
for 58 officers, 56 cadets, 32 warrant oflicers and 
sergeants and 188 rank and file. The type of building 
and general arrangement of the station did not present 
any features varying noticeably from other camps, but 
this unit was always the object of much interest 
to visitors on account of the advanced flying at all 
times observable. The output of instructors here 
graduated has been vital to the success of the Corps, 
and the keenness and enthusiasm displayed was un- 
doubtedly fostered by the brilliant example set by 
the flight commander who for many months was in 
charge. His record has been worthily maintained. 





The site of the School of Aerial Fighting was 
selected in the autumn of 1917. Actual preparation 
of some 300 acres comprising the aerodrome began, and 
the work of building was in full swing by December. 
Climatic conditions approximated those at Gamp 
Borden some twelve months previously, it being a 
winter of severe cold and high winds, but so earnestly 
was construction pushed that the camp stood ready 
for occupation when the School of Aerial Gunnery, as 
it then was, returned from Texas at the beginning of 
April, 1917. This provision did not at the time 
include barracks for cadets and rank and jfile. 

As will be understood, complete equipment was 
provided for gunnery practice, the several ranges run- 
ning from 25 to 200 yards. These were furnished with a 
diversity of targets for surprise deflection, miniature 
aeroplane and disappearing target work, the type of 
butt here constructed proving extremely satisfactory. 

FuU sized silhouettes of machines, riding on anchored 
rafts, were also set out in Lake Ontario a mile or so 
from shore, it having already been estabUshed in 
practice over Lake Worth, Texas, that firing over the 
water was of great value, owing to the accuracy with 
which registration could be made and also the ex- 
cellent opportunity given of arriving at a proper 
diving angle. Beamsville provided all such advantages, 
and practice was further stimulated by the use of a 
fast armour-clad launch, which, travelling at top speed, 
oflFered an unusually good target. 

As work developed, it became clear that the School 
was in point of fact one of tuition in aerial fighting, 
the practice of tactics forming a large part of the 
instruction given. Its nomenclature was in conse- 
quence altered in July, 1918. 

In the summer of this year, a fourth squadron was 
organized and housed, and steps taken to provide 
permanent accommodation for all ranks. This pro- 
gramme included additional officers' quarters, and the 
construction of about a dozen large buildings on the 
hillside which previously held the tents of the unit. 
The work had just been completed at the date of the 
armistice, when the accommodation at this station 
was sufficient for 122 officers, 400 cadets, 96 warrant 
officers and sergeants and 768 rank and file. 

Other services covered an excellent supply of pure 
water from the lake, a complete drainage system, and 
ample electrical faciUties from the circuits of the 
Dominion Power and Transmission Company of Ham- 
ilton, from which city Beamsville is some twenty-three 
miles distant to the eastward. 

The trip from Toronto by air was always of interest, 
paralleling the south shore of Lake Ontario to the 
long sandspit that cuts oflf Hamilton Bay from the 
main lake, along this curving bar and thence over 
orchard and vineyard along the edge of the great 
escarpment over which, a Httle further eastward, 
plunges the Niagara River. This area is appro- 
priately called the garden of Canada, and the imit found 
itself fortunate in its surroundings. 


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The Aeroplane Inspection Department took the 
responsibiUty of determining whether every aeroplane 
and every engine bought by the Royal Air Force, 
Canada, compUed with the rigid requirements laid 
down as necessary before acceptance. That the 
duties of this organization were, in point of fact, 
admirably carried out, is evident in the splendid results 
secured by the brigade in flying duty. 

The A.I.D. was, under another name, in actual 
existence in Canada before the arrival of the Corps 
in January, 1917, being then engaged in supervising 
the manufacture of machines made in Canada for the 
Admiralty by a branch of the Curtiss Aeroplane Com- 
pany situated in Toronto. The work at that time 
was under the Director of Inspection for the Imperial 
Ministry of Munitions. 

The coming of the Royal Flying Corps to Canada, and 
the consequent demand for the supply of large numbers 
of engines and machines, made it advisable that the 
unit should reap the fullest possible advantage by the 
expansion of inspection work into an organization, 
the first duty of which would be vouching for the 
quality of aeronautical suppUes purchased. In order 
that the work of this Department might be kept 
absolutely up to date, constant touch was maintained 
with the Ministry of Munitions in Great Britain, and 
information regarding every new development was 
invariably transmitted to Canada without delay. 
Thus it has been possible that the factories in Canada 
producing aeroplane material were kept modernized 
by the best known methods of inspection. 

It will be evident that the term inspection was 
something more than a name. All raw material of 
every description entering any factory for the manu- 


facture of aeronautical supplies subject to the Aero- 
plane Inspection Department, is held until a release 
note is given by the latter, the release note only being 
issued, in the case of sheet metal, for instance, when a 
sample has been taken from every sixth sheet and 
analysed with satisfactory results. In the case of 
steel tubing, of which a great deal is used, every tenth 
tube is dealt with likewise, the same minute method 
being impartially apphed to all material received. 

As manufacture progresses with the material which 
has been passed, the manufactured parts themselves 
are subject to a second inspection, and are not allowed 
to be sent on to the assembling department unless up 
to requirements. A conunon sight in such factories is 
the supervisor's metal cage, and it is on record that 
through one cage passed no less than 150,000 metal 
parts in one week. 

Lastly comes inspection of final assembly; this 
formerly applied to every machine, but rigging and 
adjusting before leaving the factory was ultimately 
reduced to every sixth, results being found acceptable. 
Here the same rigid method was carried out, and 
examination release sheets were filled in. If results 
were satisfactory, these were signed by the Aeroplane 
Inspection Department, and a copy passed on to the 
Aircraft Equipment Branch of the R.F.C., the latter 
refusing each and all deliveries not thus vouched for. 
So satisfactorily had the system worked out, that at 
the request of the brigade the Aeroplane Inspection 
Department installed their representatives to pass 
upon the work of the Engine and Aeroplane Repair 
Parks of the brigade. 

In British Columbia, the A.I.D. gave valuable 
services by the passing of all aeroplane lumber pur- 
chased by the Imperial Ministry of Munitions for 
aeroplane purposes, and from this source was drawn 
raw material required by Canadian factories. The 
quantities handled were very large, as much as four 









and a half milKon feet being inspected in the course 
of a month. Other services were the supervision of 
the manufacture of the many engines purchased by 
the brigade from the Curtiss Aeroplane and Engine 
Company in the United States. 

In order that there might be a thorough consensus 
upon all technical questions, there was formed shortly 
after arrival of the R.A.F. an Aircraft Advisory Board. 
This consisted of representatives from the factory, 
from the R.A.F. and from the A.I.D., and dealt with 
the question of any changes required or contemplated 
in machines. It is hardly necessary to add that no 
alterations were actually made without conference 
between the Board and the A.I.D. The chief inspector 
states that always and under all circumstances the 
greatest possible harmony has existed between his 
organization and that of the R.A.F. 



Flying instructors are, for the most part, too good 
to be sent overseas. This is a bald and possibly 
astonishing statement. The rest are usually those who, 
being incapacitated at the front from further active 
duty, spend the rest of their service imparting valuable 
knowledge to others. From which it may be seen that 
the appointment is highly honourable as well as 

In the early days of the R.F.C., Canada, the job 
was not as exacting as in the later months of the R.A.F., 
Canada. The instructor was then a man who could 
fly. To-day he is still a man who can fly, but has, to 
boot, a peculiar and well developed art of infusing his 
own skill and courage into the pupil by following a 
certain recognized procedure which has been demon- 
strated to be the last word in training. There is noth- 
ing in this derogatory to the early instructors. Their 
work was admirable. In a sense they took even greater 
risks, owing to the shght preHminary training then 
aflForded to pupils before going up. But the in- 
structor of to-day is one who himself has been instructed 
not only in the mechanics and dynamics of flight, 
but also in that inductive process by which he acquires 
the complete confidence of his pupil. It will be under- 
stood therefore, that on the introduction of the more 
modern system of training, to which reference is made on 
page 211, it was necessary to re-examine aU instructors 
and make sure that their abiHties equalled the new 
requirements. In addition it was constantly necessary 
to be sure that instructors were not growing stale in 
their work. 

While there is undoubted fascination in flying, the 
sensation begins to pall after hundreds of hours in the 
air in a slow machine which circles somewhat mon- 
otonously over areas of which every detail has long 




since been memorized. The Canadian JN4 is 
considered reliable, with vagaries too sHght to demand 
much attention, and a most excellent machine for 
instructional purposes. It is not as inherently stable 
as some others, but instruction on a stable machine 
would not have been as desirable as on one which 
required constant if simple control, and eflfected its 
higher manoeuvres by acquired momentum and not by 
engine power. 

In Canadian flying therefore, per se, there is nothing 
particularly attractive for the instructor. The most 
imstable element is provided by the cadet, and it has 
been remarked that at the outset **he has many oppor- 
tunities for error and usually discovers them all." 
To anyone who has observed a machine reeling un- 
steadily around an aerodrome under the guidance of 
a fledghng pilot, while his instructor sits impassively in 
the seat of danger, it will be apparent that the latter 
has attained an abnormal degree of pluck and com- 
posure. It is a point of honour with him not to assume 
control until it is obviously imperative, and even then 
there is danger lest the pupil, in an excess of fear, 
cling desperately to the stick and bring about disaster. 

With the instructor must be placed the second 
in command of squadrons. To this officer falls the 
responsibility of conducting the "pool," through which 
all pupils pass before being posted out. Here take 
place those final tests which determine the cadet's 
proficiency. Failing in any one, the pupil is returned 
for further tuition. To this officer, therefore, the 
squadron commander looks for the ultimate approval 
of the work of every cadet, as well for the satisfactory 
condition of instructors and aerodrome discipline. 

There are compensations, however, if no guarantee 
of personal security. To the instructor, for instance, 
there is always interest in the never-ending tide of 
cadets, their personalities, their characteristics as 
developed in the air and their progress. A cadet's 


first solo flight brings, if successful, a peculiar pride to 
the man who taught him to fly, but if not successful a 
self-searching to determine what link in the armour of 
tuition has been weak — ^for the instructor is held 
responsible for the crash. 

The wing examining officer was called into exis- 
tence by the introduction of the Gosport system, which 
in itsefr has been developed and modified to suit 
Canadian conditions. The first result of this intro- 
duction was that it became necessary to comb out 
instructors, some of whom had been too long on the 
job and were "stale," others too old, others too young 
to be entirely steady, and others who, though excellent 
pilots, could not adopt the principles and psychology 
evolved. Still others needed instruction themselves. 
To this end the School of Special Flying was estabhshed 
at Armour Heights imder a brilHant pilot. A steady 
supply of well-trained men was assured by the opera- 
tions of this unit. 

Early in the year 1918, the instructors at every 
wing were put under the wing examining officer, whose 
duty it was to weed out those who got stale, to test the 
abilities of aU new instructors from time to time, and 
form his own opinion of their instructional capacity. 
In addition, it was the obligation of this officer, to 
investigate the log book of every machine which 
crashed, and demand an explanation of any apparent 
discrepancies, and also to keep knowledge of aU 
crashes so as to determine whether any one instructor 
was responsible for an unreasonable number. In the 
case of the latter being evident, it was palpable that 
the instructor was either stale or too young for his 
work, and he was forthwith sent overseas, where 
usually under the new and much-longed-for stimulant 
he did admirably. 

A mind of peculiar judgment is required to find its 
chief satisfaction in the achievements of others. This 
is demanded of all instructors. Deprived of the 




tremendous incentive of contact with the enemy, 
isolated, as it were, in a daily repetition of duties that 
afford little variety, constantly speeding off others to 
that thrilling destination where they fain would be — 
others who owe to them their fitness to go — such is 
the every-day grind. 

And yet how tremendously it has all counted ! A 
large part of the work of the brigade was in preparing 
cadets to a point at which they were deemed worthy 
of flying instruction. Toward that honourable object 
was directed a vast amount of effort. Decorations were 
often subsequently won by pupils whose instructors 
plugged doggedly along the same old road. There 
was no pubhcity, and only junior — ^very junior rank. 
Here, therefore, is given earnestly and officially, the 
grateful thanks of the General Officer Commanding 
to those men who by their unfailing readiness and pluck 
have had so splendid a part in timiing out the pilots 
the brigade has been privileged to send overseas. 



The R.A.F., Canada, is indebted to many Canadian 
authorities and organizations for assistance rendered, 
but to none is the debt greater than to the Canadian 
Army Medical Corps for supplying the personnel from 
which the medical service of the Royal Air Force has 
from time to time been built up. The request was 
made in January by the Imperial Government that the 
Canadian Mihtia Department should supply this 
service. Prompt action was taken, and from a 
small beginning there has been formed a complete 
corps of medical officers, medical orderlies and nurses, 
skilled not only in everyday practice but also in the 
special work called for at flying camps. 

The original intention was to supply only a small 
camp hospital, with one medical officer and the neces- 
sary orderlies at the various aerodromes, but it was soon 
determined that the work of the Medical Corps covered 
a much wider range than was anticipated. Almost 
the first need was that of skilled orderfies who were 
specially trained in first aid. Owing to calls from 
overseas, the available number of men was very small, 
and it was found imperative that the senior medical 
officer of the R.A.F. provide the necessary training. 
Coincident with this came a further need of isolation 
hospitals, which, although the general health of the 
brigade was maintained at an unusually high standard, 
were found to be essential in order that the work of 
training might not suffer in the least degree. 

The responsibihties undertaken by the medical 
department were made the more onerous, not only 
because an extremely low percentage of class *'A" 
men were enlisted — and these only owing to their 
possession of invaluable technical ability, but also 
because the community at large suffered from severe 




'hungry lizzie.' 

civilian epidemics of scarlet fever and influenza. Sur- 
gical work, with dental surgery — ^which latter covered 
many major operations owing to crashes resulting in 
broken jaws and teeth — comprised a considerable part 
of the duties performed. 

A modern operating room was completely furnished 
at each aerodrome, together with X-ray equipment at 
the "out-stations." In the autumn of 1917, the 
medical orderlies were further aided by the introduction 
of nursing sisters. For these also we are indebted 
to the Canadian Army Medical Corps, and without 
question their work has been of the highest possible 
advantage. Thus, by degrees, the medical staff of the 
Royal Air Force increased its personnel, the burden 
of its duties and the value of its services. 

Ambulance equipment was of prime importance. 
A Packard machine, provided with a special type of 
shock absorbers and every possible requisite, not only for 
first aid but also for fire extinguishing, was stationed 
at each field, and remained on constant and watch- 
ful duty from the time the first aeroplane took the 
air till the skies were empty for the night. So close 
was the lookout, that '*first aid" was often tearing fuU- 
powered to the rescue before the crash completed its 
descent. The ground traversed being often rough and 
devoid of roads, it was imperative that the ambu- 
lances be perfectly cushioned, lest the condition of 
"shock" as frequently found in "crash" be aggravated 
by the journey home. It is hardly conceivable that 
there could have been found vehicles better designed for 
the purpose than those selected, and unquestionably 
lives were saved in consequence of their use. Chemical 
extinguishers and asbestos blankets, the latter intro- 
duced for protection of the pilot in case the crash was 
in flames, were also carried as part of the equipment. 

For winter purposes at outlying stations, the aerial 
ambulances shown herewith were evolved. With a 
wide radius, landings could have been made in any 


suitable, snow-covered place, however inaccessible by 
motor transport. They were never to be used by the 
R.A.F., Canada. 

In this connection it is interesting to note the 
degree to which the duties of the medical officers in 
flying camps varied from the more or less regulated 
routine met with in other services. The senior 
medical officer has, from time to time, instilled into 
his staff certain axioms for their constant guidance. 
It has been, for instance, necessary that the medical 
officer in flying camps become, as far as possible, the 
confidant and adviser of aU ranks. It is advisable 
that he himself get into the air as soon as feasible, and 
that the machine which carries him be put through 
all evolutions, in order to acquaint him with the 
physical phenomena of flying. No machine must 
leave the ground unless the medical officer on duty 
is within reach, nor must the latter leave the aerodrome 
while there is a machine in the air. A further respon- 
sibifity is that he must pronounce upon the fitness of 
all cadets and flying officers to take the air, and, further, 
without hesitation, prevent any man from going up 
who is, in his opinion, unfit. As routine work he must 
also conduct a monthly physical inspection of all 
cadets, and be present at all *'test flights." 

The psychological side of medical service takes 
on new proportions in a flying camp. The personahty 
and characteristics of the patient in question must 
be always kept in mind so that when investigating 
air sicloiess the medical officer may determine 
whether it is real or assumed. The question of fear, i.e., 
"aerophobia," in its actuality, and any loss of nervous 
control, must be established if existing — and obversely. 
Any excitement or tension must be carefully distin- 
guished from natural recklessness or other character- 
istics of what is termed a "thrusting disposition." 

An exhaustive study of the ideal pilot estabfished 
the fact that he should have an acute and correct sense 


of equiKbrium. This does not appear so essential 
for an observer, who if he is fairly safe in the air and does 
not become giddy in stunting, may prove acceptable. 

The '^rotation tests," described in detail below, 
have proved that as regards a great nmnber of success- 
ful pilots — ^referring to those who have flown 100 hours 
and more, — in no case has a man been discovered 
who has not conformed to the above standards laid 
down for admission to the brigade. Above all there 
is demanded a sound physical condition, by which 
alone all bodily functions will respond normally. 

The foUowing data are taken verbatim from 
memoranda issued by the senior medical officer and 
authorized by the G.O.C. for the information of 
medical and flying officers: — 

"For the information of the flying officer, a short 
explanation of the phenomena of equiKbrium ma^ 
not be out of place. Deep in the bones of the skuU, 
in close connection with the hearing apparatus, he, one 
set on each side, a series of three minute canals, filled 
with a clear fluid and hned with a membrane inti- 
mately connected by dehcate nervous elements with 
the brain. 

"These canals, each corresponding to half of the arc 
of a circle, are about half an inch in length, have a 
diameter of about one-twentieth of an inch and inter- 
communicate. They he in the three dimensions 
or planes of space, and it is primarily due to 
movements in the contained fluid acting on the dehcate 
nerve terminals, which are directly connected with 
the brain through fibres of the Vill nerve, that man is 
enabled to maintain the equilibrium of the body. 
It may be of interest to note at this point that the 
corresponding system in birds shows the extremely 
high degree of development one would expect. Know- 
ing that to be a successful pilot a man must have an 
accurate and dehcate perception of his position in 


relation to the earth, it is readily seen how intimately 
the internal ear, its adjuncts, and the problems involved 
in aeronautics are related. It should be understood 
that the canals mentioned above have nothing to do 
with the sense of hearing. 

*'Close to these, and in the same portion of the 
bone, he two others closely resembling the spiral 
canals found in conch shells, and it is on these 
canals, also filled with fluid and lined with cells 
connected to the brain by fine nervous filaments, that 
we rely for our auditory impressions. It has been 
proved that not only dizziness, but also nausea and 
vomiting, all untoward symptoms frequently encount- 
ered in airmen, are closely connected with lesions or 
functional disturbances of the labyrinth of the audi- 
tory apparatus. 

"In order to test the action of these canals, the 
contained fluid may be set in motion by rotating the 
body. This is most readily done by seating the patient 
in a revolving chair, and so, with the head in different 
planes, testing the different canals in turn. It has been 
found that pilots experiencing difiiculty in flying, 
especially in maintaining equihbrium, and those who 
are troubled with vertigo or nausea, often show 
abnormal reactions, and it is for this reason that these 
tests are employed. These 'rotation' or ^turning tests' 
have been used for a considerable time in connection 
with diseases of the internal ear and in the diagnosis 
of lesions of the brain, but it is only recently, as a 
result of experimental work, that their application to 
aeronautics has been demonstrated and proved to be 
of practical value. 

*'In the 'nystagmus test' the apphcant is first 
spun in the chair exactly ten times in twenty seconds, 
accurately checked with a stop watch. The examiner 
now carefully observes certain lateral, jerking move- 
ments of the eyes which normally appear, but should 
cease on an average in twenty-six seconds. A certain 





variation is allowed from the normal time, and cadets 
for pilots not conforming to this test should not be 
allowed to fly. In it the head is tilted forward to an 
angle of thirty degrees in order to stimulate only those 
canals which lie in the horizontal plane. 

"In order to stimulate those canals lying in the 
vertical plane, *falhng tests' are employed. The 
subject is instructed to lean forward, resting his 
forehead on his hands which are placed on his knees, 
and is then turned alternately to right and left five 
times in ten seconds. 

"Should he be rotated to the right and be ordered 
to sit up, he should immediately fall to the right, 
which is the normal reaction, but should he sit directly 
upright or fall to the opposite direction, a faulty 
functioning of these canals or of the pathways in the 
brain is thus demonstrated. 

" 'Pointing tests' are appUed somewhat similarly. 
The candidate is turned ten times in ten seconds 
alternately to right and left, with eyes closed. He is 
then instructed to raise his arm and point to a fixed 
object, usually the examiner's finger, of the position of 
which he is already aware. As a result of the dizziness 
produced, if he has been turned to the right, he should 
point to the right of the object. This 'past-pointing' 
is a normal reaction, and any considerable deviation will 
immediately reject the appKcant. Even after the chair 
has stopped, the man stiU feels that he is turning 
and is endeavouring to locate the fixed point. The 
'past-pointing' shows that he is attempting to allow 
for the rotary motion which he is still experiencing, 
though actually the chair is stationary. 

"Since the more sensitive, theoretically, a man is, 
as shown by 'turning tests,' the more likely he is to 
be a good pilot, as he should be able to detect more 
accurately and early the movements of his plane 
without the use of his eyes. This is, however, true 


only to a limited degree, for we have found that as a 
rule the higher the nystagmus time, the more Ukely is 
the man to suffer from vertigo, nausea or vomiting in 
the air. On the other hand, theoretically, a man 
with a short period of nystagmus should be less sensi- 
tive to unpleasant, subjective sensations, and those 
with 'dead labyrinths' ought to be immune. 

"The practical deduction is that in good pilots the 
ocular oscillations must not vary to any considerable 
extent, say not more than ten to twelve seconds; 
on the other hand the lower or shorter the time the 
better a man should be able to stand the violent 
swaying of a captive balloon, since it is this motion 
above all others that produces the most intense 
nausea and emesis. Following the above to its logical 
conclusion, we in practice reject men who show too 
nigh a nystagmus time, and recommend for observers, 
and especially for balloonists, those showing sluggish 

Failure to conform to either the pointing or falling 
reactions required are good and sufficient reasons to 
reject apphcants for cadet pilots. 

It is probable that to the layman much of the 
foregoing will be found technical and scientific, but to 
the investigator into the physical and psychical phe- 
nomena induced by flying, it should be of direct interest. 
In the medical service of the R.A.F., Canada, the 
value of these tests in their standardized form 
was first proved by their application to men who were 
actually unfit to fly, and the case sheets of many such 
are on file in that department. 

Their adoption only followed after the analysis and 
continual checking of results obtained by tests not only 
upon those who desired to take to the air, but also 
those who, having flown, were reported by their 
instructors to be unfit to continue, and which showed 
that they were demonstrably correct, and not merely 
deduced from a priori assumption. 








Investigations into "oxygen want," as evidenced 
by drowsiness, shortness of breath, fainting, etc., at 
considerable altitudes, have led the authorities to sup- 
ply pilots with oxygen tanks for use in high altitudes, 
since it is not the density of atmosphere but the 
dearth of oxygen which causes these distressing 
symptoms. An apparatus has recently been perfected 
by means of which, by diluting the respired air with 
nitrogen, it is now possible to determine accurately the 
altitude beyond which a pilot may fly in safety, and so 
it is hoped to prevent many casualties, and assist in 
the ^^classification" of airmen with reference to their 
flying capabihties. 

Vision, which when abnormal causes headaches, 
dizziness, etc., should be normally stereoscopic, and the 
accommodation perfect in at least one eye; but while 
accurate color vision is considered desirable, it is not 
essential providing the primary colors are correctly 

Amongst other tests adopted by the brigade are 
those giving the vital lung capacity, the expiratory 
force, also complemental and supplemental air, the 
former being the measurement of the excess capacity 
of the lungs over a normal intake of air, the latter that 
quantity of air remaining in the lungs after a normal 

Excess of any nature is frowned on. Excessive 
tea or coffee drinking, or any semblance of nicotine 
poisoning at once asserts itself. The strain of in- 
struction also produces definite phenomena, and pilots 
retained for this duty are limited to three and a half 
hours' flying daily. These phenomena are watched for, 
and treated sanely and sympathetically, till the indi- 
vidual with all his personal variations becomes as it 
were a human barometer, which infallibly records the 
actions and reactions of the flying man's Kfe. 

Owing to the fact that the pioneer attempt at sys- 
tematic winter training, without regard to temperature, 


was undertaken during 1917-18 in Canada and success- 
fully concluded during the severest weather of many 
years, certain new problems required solution. When 
it is reahzed that machines flew at ground temperatures 
as low as — 35 degrees Fah., the occurrence of frost 
bite and any effect of the intense cold on the mental 
faculties, to the extent of producing drowsiness and 
even stupor, was extremely infrequent. The flying 
clothing provided, the Hawker boots, the gauntlets 
and chamois face masks, which were adopted after all 
ointments, oils, etc., generally in use in altitude flying, 
froze in situ, most effectually prevented the expected 
difficulties, so completely indeed that during the whole 
winter season no serious casualties could be traced to 
the effect of the low temperatures encountered. 

Such in brief outUne are some of the major investi- 
gations pecuUar to the duties of the medical staff of 
the brigade. To these are of course added others 
better known, such as blood pressure, etc. Couple 
them with psycho-mental problems, and they give some 
suggestion of the history compiled for every would-be 
pilot and observer, an intimate history unapproached 
in detail and interest by any other tabulation of per- 
sonal phenomena. 

In conclusion, it is desired that special acknowledg- 
ment be made of the exceptional service rendered by 
medical officers on the aerodromes, and by the staff of 
medical orderlies distributed through the brigade. 

The hours of the former were long and arduous, the 
duties of the latter, for which they were trained by 
the senior medical officer and his staff, were manifold 
and pressing. That they were admirably performed 
is of common knowledge, but that their swiftness in 
succour and skill in first aid saved many a life, is 
known only to those who have been privileged to see 
them at work. 




















Prior to the operations of the Corps, it was generally 
assumed that the obstacles to intensive training in a 
snow-covered country were almost insuperable, but 
in the Hght of last winter's experience it is difficult to 
imagine the limit to which the aeroplane may not safely 
be used in the latitudes of the far north. Its apparent 
fragility, the exposure of the pilot, the fact that a 
large percentage of accidents occmred in making 
landings, and the mental picture of a machine flounder- 
ing through snowdrifts in an attempt to rise, all seemed 
to reduce the matter to an impossibihty. To-day it 
has been demonstrated by the work of the 44th Wing 
of this unit that, with such provision as has already 
been proved suitable, the aeroplane will rise from a 
snow surface more easily than from bare ground at 
temperatures far below zero, land in spots inaccessible 
in summer time, and that the pilot may be maintained 
in physical comfort and security and practicaUy 
immune to the weather. 

The process was one of return to aboriginal prin- 
ciples, in that there was adopted a method used by the 
North American Indian, since jBrst he traversed the 
frozen waste. Experiments soon evidenced that under- 
carriage wheels were out of the question in snow more 
than six inches deep, and by the ehmination of things 
that rotated and the adoption of things that sUd, 
the aeroplane fell, so to speak, into hne with the winter 
customs of the country. The progressive experiments 
out of which were evolved the skids finally adopted, 
called for the united suggestions of the unit, the 
Repair Park and the Canadian Aeroplanes Limited, 
but passing over the investigations into proper length, 
width, anchorage, bow curve, and kindred points, the 
result was an effective and curiously attractive combin- 


ation of ancient and modern. As seen in the illustra- 
tion on page 130, this gives the machine a semi-naval 
appearance — prophetic perhaps of the early union 
between the air forces of land and sea in the R.A.F. 

Once in regular use, the efficiency of these shoes 
became very noticeable. The slight bump observable 
in the best of landings smoothed itself out into a 
gently cushioned settling in which the actual first 
contact with the snow was imperceptible. Similarly, 
in taking off, the sensation was as in a toboggan darting 
without friction down a steep slope. Breakage in 
propellers and undercarriages became reduced to a 
minimum, and frequent landings soon ironed out the 
white expanse of the aerodrome to an unusually good 

The protection of the pilot was of prime importance 
to continuous training, and since flying was carried on 
at temperatures much below zero, particular attention 
was given to guarding against frostbite. Whale oil, 
vaseline, etc., smeared on the skin gave only partial 
results, and it was not till long flying boots coming to 
the thigh were provided, and chamois masks covering 
the face, with holes for eyes and mouth were also issued, 
that comfort was finally attained. Thus the pilot 
could remain in the air for a much longer period, and 
perform instructional work with ease. The unit 
lacked the electrically-heated clothing issued on the 
Western Front, but it did not suffer in consequence. 
There were variations, of course, in the powers of re- 
sistance to cold, it being found that some pilots could 
endure low temperatures much better than others — 
and this caUed for the particular attention of the 
medical officer on the aerodrome. 

As to the engines themselves, but httle trouble 
was experienced. What did materiahze was met by 
precautions somewhat similar to those taken in motor 
car work under paraUel conditions. AU petrol, oil and 












I . 

Li_ or 



water were carefully drawn oflF every evening, the two 
latter being heated when replaced. Radiators were three- 
quarter covered by beaver board lined with felt, this 
plan working quite satisfactorily. Inspection of rigging 
was particularly close, lest the extreme cold should 
have set up undue stress in tension members, but the 
JN 4 seemed born for the duty, and so far as records 
go, no accident took place which is in any way 
attributable to mechanical failure brought about by 
low temperature. 

It was decided also to make certain shght changes 
in tail construction should flying be carried on for 
another winter. This consisted only of enclosing the 
tail skid in a flexible cover at the point where it left 
the fuselage — to prevent snow from accumulating 
inside the latter. 

Further protective measures were very simple, such 
as wrapping water connections with felt and fabric, and 
removing the oil gauge from rear to front seat to 
shorten the piping, and leading it between the cylinders 
to secure maximum warmth. For the rest, the hangars 
were banked with earth some two feet high, and main- 
tained at a temperature not below fifteen degrees of 

That the programme was successful may be seen 
from the fact that though the winter was of unusual 
severity, both as to cold and snowfaU, flying was 
carried out for twenty-six days in January, twenty-one 
in February, and twenty-five in March. For these 
months, the records give an average day temperature 
of twenty-six degrees, twenty-two degrees, and seven- 
teen degrees above zero, respectively, with a minimum 
of thirty-five degrees below. During this period, 
some instructors kept up an average flying time per 
day of two hours and twenty-five minutes for the whole 
three months. 


On this record it was decided that the training of all 
squadrons should be carried out in Canada for the 
following winter. This has proved unnecessary. The 
campaign is over. But who will now scout the pre- 
diction that the far North has no barriers which the 
explorer may not surmount with ease and swiftness, 
and no secrets which shall not soon be revealed to his 
enfranchized gaze. 





This unit, formed on February 5th, 1917, was 
first stationed in the Givens Street School, Toronto, 
which building was also partly occupied by the 228th 
Canadian Regiment. Recruiting, however, was active, 
and the R.F.C. began to show such strong signs of the 
marked popularity it was to attain later, that extra 
accommodation was soon required, and Crawford 
Street School taken over. 

During the summer, it was seen that even this 
accommodation was insufficient. The Depot, therefore, 
moved out to Leaside, and under canvas. 

The strength, at this time about 400, was largely 
increased by the arrival of four American squadrons to 
be trained by the R.F.C. These were attached to 
Recruits' Depot for rations and accommodation. It is 
satisfactory to remember that this first contact between 
the two corps was productive of an admirable com- 
radeship which has existed ever since. It is noted also 
that canteen profits greatly increased, and a large per- 
centage of these was handed to each American squadron 
on its departure. 

The quartermaster's branch of the Recruits' Depot 
being still at Givens Street, it was reahzed that much 
extra clerical and other work would be saved could the 
whole depot be centralized. Steps were therefore 
taken by headquarters to acquire convenient barracks 
in town. 

Early in September, the Recruits' Depot band was 
formed — largely helped by surplus canteen funds. It 
has been a source of much pride and also of a certain 
amount of amusement to the men of the depot. All 
parties for Texas or the United States were "played" 
down to the railway station, and the band and 
'*Rruno" (the camp dog — a handsome St. Rernard) 
invariably accompanied the bi-weekly route marches. 


In October the need of permanent accommodation 
in town became m*gent. It was eventually found 
(owing to the great generosity of the Board of Educa- 
tion, Toronto), at the Jesse Ketchum School — a large 
and commodious building, which was completed as 
fast as possible, and loaned absolutely free of cost, 
including the larger part of the park attached to the 
building, which it was permitted to use as a parade and 
sports' ground. This consideration was only typical 
of the way in which Toronto public authorities have 
invariably dealt with the Royal Flying Corps. 

The Depot moved into town on the 17th November, 
1917, and was in good workable shape by the middle 
of December. 

To these barracks, cadets, for the first time, were 
sent for prehminary training, and three or four hundred 
were thus added to normal strength, which stood at 
about 700. The ordinary accommodation proving 
insufficient for this number, double bunks were placed 
in all the sleeping rooms, where high ceilings and good 
lighting made the provision entirely feasible. 

The band at this time was a first class organization, 
and in great demand for dances and hockey matches — 
half the profits made being allotted to the Longwood 
Convalescent Home. Concerts were held in the 
canteen three times a week. As to exercise, an ice 
hockey rink was made, a football ground rolled out, 
and three billiard tables put in the canteen, the electric 
lighting of the rink being given free of cost by the City 
Parks Commissioner. There was, therefore, no lack 
of amusement or exercise throughout an unusually 
severe winter. 

The routine of procedure has been briefly as follows: 
Upon arrival at the Depot, all recruits reported to the 
non-commissioned officer in charge of the receiving 
room, and were allotted sleeping accommodation. 
Medical parade for final approval was held each 


morning at nine o'clock, and an hour later recruits 
received their regimental numbers as "finally ap- 
proved." Came a parade at quartermaster stores for 
issue of kit. Transfer clothing statements and clothing 
ledger being signed, all reported back immediately 
to the receiving room for the numbering of all articles 
of kit now in their possession. Civilian clothes were 
packed and sent to any address the owner might wish, 
and recruits were turned over to the barrack orderly 
sergeant who "carried on." 

On discharge, the procedure is practically reversed, 
and all men report to the postings department, for the 
checking of documents. These being correct, sleeping 
quarters are allotted in space set aside for this pur- 
pose. The same day, kits are laid out for inspection, 
and inventories taken under the supervision of an 
officer. These, being signed also by each man concerned, 
are sent to the Quartermaster's ofiice, and checked 
against the original clothing statements. Deficiency 
slips — should such result — (showing articles deficient, 
if any, and their value) go then to the postings depart- 
ment, to be checked against pay and mess book. This 
information is sent to the ofiicer in charge Records, 
on receipt of whose signal that discharge may be 
proceeded with, an order is issued to the contractor for 
civihan clothing to provide authorized civiUan outfit. 
The man's kit is turned into the Quartermaster's 
store No. 4, where another inventory of articles is made 
and forwarded to the Quartermaster's office, to be 
again checked against the original clothing statement. 
Forms showing actual shortages of kit are submitted 
to the Paymaster and a copy of Can. 638 (Particulars 
on Discharge) to the Pay Department. 

Since the inception of the brigade approximately 
16,000 men have passed through this unit. The 
process of demobiKzation will require the above pro- 
cedure of discharge to be appKed to a strength of not 
less than 12,000. 




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The first duty of the R.F.C. comprised the securing 
of a continuous inflow of recruits, both mechanics and 
cadets, and while it was anticipated that difficulties 
would be encountered, local conditions as set forth 
below were such as to make the task unexpectedly 
arduous. The state of affairs in Canada, so far as 
concerns mechanics, was briefly as follows: — 

(1) Recruiting for the C.E.F. was practically at a 
standstill. The country had been "worked 

(2) The R.F.C. was practically unknown in Canada. 

(3) High wages were being paid to skiUed workers. 

(4) There was no organized recruiting system in 
use, each Canadian imit doing its own. 

(5) A very large percentage of skilled mechanics 
were essential for the maintenance of aero- 
planes and engines, and these were in great 
demand at very high wages on munitions. 

(6) The fact that, in a large number of cases, men 
had to be transported for over 1,000 miles 
in order to be even interviewed, or medically 
examined, made recruiting both expensive and 

The brightest point was the Uvely interest and very 
hearty cooperation of every ofiicer of the Department 
of Militia and Defence, and of every officer of the 
Canadian Forces throughout the Dominion. This co- 
operation has been maintained throughout our work. 
Without it no success could have been attained. The 
spirit of good fellowship and help has been of inestim- 






















■ ;■ 















able value to all our recruiting officers, and later the 
same spirit, was encountered among the officials ad- 
ministering the Military Service Act, to whose work 
the operations of another force — engaged in recruiting 
men otherwise than through the Military Service Act 
organization, must have been a considerable trial. 
Instead of objections, the Corps encountered nothing 
but assistance. 

At the end of January, 1917, recruiting offices 
were opened in Toronto and Hamilton, with a trade 
test party in each place. The latter was shortly 
withdrawn as being unproductive, and merged into a 
central test station at Toronto. Simultaneously, 
and owing to great distances to be travelled and to 
difficulties encountered in obtaining suitable accom- 
modation and faciUties for trade testing at other 
centres, it was decided to estabhsh merely recruiting 
offices at outside stations; and offices were opened at 
Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver, each in charge of 
an experienced ofiicer trained by ourselves, assisted 
by a staflF of non-commissioned officers and men from 
England. Oral tests were conducted here, the practical 
examination being given after arrival in Toronto. 

The question of pubKcity presented a problem, to 
solve which the following methods were employed: 

(1) Display advertisements in newspapers (large 

(2) Written items of news and interesting articles. 

(3) Classified advertisements for trades in the 
various want advertising columns. 

(4) Large posters of striking design used on bill- 
boards. These posters were designed by an 
advertising company. 

This work was supplemented by addresses and re- 
cruiting meetings. 


The cost of (4) was too high to be maintained, and 
the results of (1) and (2) were so discouraging in the 
first month that another scheme was evolved. As a 
result of a conference with the National Board, some 
10,000 skilled workers who had volunteered for national 
service were circularized with attractive Uterature. 
From this form of pubhcity only 860 enUstments were 
obtained, extending over a period of nearly six months. 

On investigation, it was found that the first method 
of pubhcity had been so long used by local Canadian 
Forces that the ejffect lacked novelty, whereas infor- 
mation conveyed in articles dealing with aviation 
always brought results. Since display advertisements, 
however, were a sure means of reaching the pubhc, 
they were continued, inasmuch as they served to 
stimulate the interest of the newspaper, and thereby 
helped in the placing of news items. 

The entry of the United States into the war made 
it possible to endeavour to recruit British subjects 
across the line. Quarters were secured in New York, 
and officers visited many of the larger towns, such as 
Chicago, Boston, Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis, 
etc., where the British Recruiting Mission had offices, 
and gave every possible assistance. Occasional visits 
were paid to these points, except in the case of New 
York, where an officer was permanently stationed, and 
from New York came the bulk of the men enhsted in 
the United States. Altogether about 627 British 
subjects were thus enrolled. 

Owing to the distances between centres and the 
scattered population, practically all applications for 
enhstment were dealt with by correspondence, whether 
from headquarters or out-stations. Transportation had 
then to be given to bring the apphcant probably at 
least 300 miles for a Medical Board, after which, if 
successful in passing the oral tests, etc., he was 
transported to Toronto. This journey, in the case 
of a man enlisting in Vancouver, occupied four days 


and covered 2,500 miles. Sleeping acconunodation was 
provided, also meals en route. None of these difficul- 
ties were encountered in England. 

The Medical Boards placed at our disposal by the 
Department of Militia and Defence were accustomed 
to pass for military service, that is category "A." 
For the purposes of the R.F.C., as it then was, men of 
lower category than "A" were quite suitable, as no 
pack had to be carried and there was little or no 
route marching. The composition of the brigade is, 
therefore, very largely of men not fit for active service, 
and who have been rejected time and time again by the 
C.E.F. At the outset. Boards absolutely refused to 
pass for us applicants of a lower medical category than 
"A," this because the Board was held responsible for 
any man retm*ned as unfit on arrival in England and 
charged with the cost of his transportation, etc. 
Fiu'ther, the British practice of classifying men into 
"A," "B," "C," "D," and "E" categories was not 
known. Each assistant director of medical service 
required to be acquainted with our methods and 
standards, causing, in consequence, considerable delay. 

A further problem was that of pay. Whilst the 
Corps rate was 15c. higher for skilled labour than the 
Canadian forces for unskilled, a very high standard 
could not be set for trade test. The first question of 
each recruit was: "What is the pay?" *'How much will 
my wife get?" and such answers as the recruiting officer 
could give were not very reassuring. In contrast 
with the Canadian overseas man, the prospect was, in 
truth, hardly attractive. The wife of the latter, owing 
to the benefactions of the Canadian Patriotic Fund 
(subscribed unofficially by Canadians) received $20.00 
per month and $5.00 for each child, in addition to a 
percentage of her husband's pay. As against this the 
brigade allowance looked meagre. The relief can be 
realized, therefore, when, a little later, the authorities 
of the Patriotic Fund, cognizant of the importance of 


R.F.C. work, and that R.F.C. recruits were principally 
married men, extended their generosity to the brigade 
as regarding men of category "A," who were ehgible 
for overseas service. Here, too, a tribute must be 
paid to R.F.C. men outside this category and unable 
to enjoy this special benefit. It speaks highly for the 
patriotism of Canadians that these mechanics carried 
cheerfully on, though under great personal and financial 

In the early part of 1918, a number of category 
"A" men were Hberated for the purpose of joining the 
C.E.F. and proceeded overseas, thus causing consider- 
able shortage of labour in the Corps. Further re- 
cruiting appearing impossible, female labour was 
employed in the capacity of civilian subordinates. It 
was at first thought that these subordinates would be 
used only in unskilled trades and office routine, but it was 
soon evident that they could be trained for simpler and 
Hghter mechanical work. A separate section being 
formed to handle recruiting and administration, a large 
number of patriotic women volunteered for duty with 
the Air Force, of whom 1,200 were selected. Through 
their work the brigade was tided over a serious shortage 
of labour. Unaccustomed to aeroplane work, and 
unacquainted with mihtary routine, they have univer- 
sally performed sterKng service. 

From the very first, civiHan female subordinates 
were employed at headquarters and other units in a 
clerical capacity. In the autumn of 1918 they might 
have been seen in any of the shops or camps, dressed in 
dusters, caps and overalls, taking down engines, grinding 
valves, stripping aeroplanes and doing all forms of 
manual labour heretofore always performed by men. 
At the Repair Parks alone, 135 women were employed 
at technical trades, while at the various camps nearly 
600 were carrying on as mechanics. In the capacity of 
motor drivers they rendered excellent service. A 
large proportion of the cars throughout the brigade at 
the present time are driven by them. 


Too much praise cannot be given to the women who 
have been employed in many varying capacities by the 
R.A.F. throughout Canada. They have given the 
greatest satisfaction, and done their work in the most 
conscientious manner possible. Furthermore, in spite 
of many predictions, they have caused no trouble what- 
soever, and submitted themselves apparently without 
effort to the necessary discipline of the Force. 

The following notes, re female subordinates, may be 
of interest, showing their distribution: — 

In Headquarters Offices and in various cities . 115 

Paymaster Department, Victoria St., Toronto. 36 

Recruits Depot, Jesse Ketchum, Toronto 18 

No. 4 S. of A. University 90 

Cadet Wing, Long Branch 9 

Armament School, Hamilton 14 

Aeroplane Repair Park, Toronto 134 

Engine Repair Park, Toronto 65 

Stores Depot, Toronto 180 

Motor Transport Section, Toronto 50 

Engineer Section, Toronto 3 

School of Aerial Fighting, Beamsville 91 

Forty-second Wing, Deseronto 230 

Forty-third Wing, Leaside 161 


At the time of the signing of the armistice, over 
7,000 men had been recruited for the mechanical 
section of the Royal Air Force, Canada. Nearly 
fifty per cent, of these were recruited by corres- 
pondence, and as many as 15,000 appHcations were 
handled through recruiting headquarters and the 
various out-stations. 

























When on May 1st, 1917, the campaign was com- 
menced, the assistance of the Aero Club of Canada 
was enUsted, and this society used its organization 
as a recruiting agency. 

At the same time, endeavours were made to approach 
the students of pubHc schools and universities by 
extensive circularization. It was estimated that about 
600 cadet recruits could be handled for training for the 
balance of 1917, and about 1,500 in 1918, but al- 
though thirty-odd schools and colleges were thus 
approached, the scheme was unproductive of results. 
It was decided, therefore, to try out more thoroughly 
the idea of civiKan recruiting committees, and bodies 
composed of about three influential, public men were 
organized in the foUowing cities: — 

Toronto, Ontario. 
Montreal, Quebec. 
Charlottetown, P. E. I. 
Winnipeg, Manitoba. 
Regina, Saskatchewan. 
Calgary, Alberta. 
Vancouver, British Columbia. 

These committees, being furnished with our medical 
standards, were empowered to interview apphcantis, 
have them examined by the local Medical Board and 
apply for transportation to Toronto for final test and 
approval. It will be understood that the committees 
were not active recruiting agents. They simply passed 
opinion on the men sent to them by the wing, all 
apphcations being made through headquarters. The 
Royal Flying Corps was by this time becoming known 
and talked about throughout Canada. Pubhcity was 
better managed, and there were received on an average 


twenty applications per day from the whole of Canada. 
Uneasiness was felt about this time as to an adequate 
supply of cadets being available. The demand 
was continually increasing. Towards the summer of 
1917 it reached 300 per month. A little later in the 
fall it rose to 400 and 500 a month, requiring in two 
months what in April, 1917, had been estimated as the 
need for two-thirds of the whole year. 

A new plan was therefore necessary. Statistical 
research indicated that past efforts had not reached the 
pubhc except in large centres. It was, in consequence, 
determined to enlarge the civihan conamittee plan, and 
estabHsh committees in every town of 10,000 
inhabitants and over, throughout the whole of Canada. 
In places of less than 10,000, the assistance of at least 
one important man was sought to accomplish this, 
and the Dominion was completely divided into five 
recruiting districts with headquarters offices at 
Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. 
Each district was supphed with an officer in charge, 
and a second officer, whose duty it was to travel con- 
tinually from place to place establishing committees 
and advise and assist those committees already 
established. The scheme proved very successful. 
About 350 civihan committees, with a total of over 
1,000 members, were estabhshed throughout Canada, 
and the travelling officers, by the mere fact of their 
presence in the different towns, stimulated interest, 
and through interviews with local papers obtained 
pubUcity . Coincident with this, the matter of pubUcity 
was tackled in a serious way by a campaign whereby 
it was hoped to bring to the notice of every man in 
Canada the work being done by, or at least the name 
of, the Royal Air Force. 

About this time the MiUtary Service Act com- 
menced to operate and there seemed a danger of all 
the available material being absorbed into C.E.F. 
units. A reserve class "B" was therefore started, and 
the surplus cadets were placed on this reserve. 


From this time on, committees cooperating more 
fully, the number of appUcants steadily increased and 
there has been no difficulty since then in supplying the 
demand for cadets. 

The difficulties encountered in cadet recruiting 
were: — 

(1) The task of informing the public that cadets 
would be taken for training as pilots. Not only 
had the fact to be known that men were wanted, 
but it was also necessary to say exactly what a 
pilot had to do. There still seems to be an 
impression that it is very difficult to gain 
admittance as a pilot. 

(2) Before the Royal Flying Corps, Canada, was 
formed, pilots were trained at a civihan school. 
They paid about $400 for the course, and then 
had to take a chance of being accepted in 
England. The general pubUc required to be ac- 
quainted with the fact that training was jree 
at an Army School. 

(3) It was absolutely impossible to interview all the 
applicants at headquarters or at brigade 
centres, or to deal with them by correspondence. 
The committees formed were, therefore, given 
this work, and as soon as they thoroughly 
reahzed the requirements, they rendered the 
very greatest service, and have been, as pointed 
out, the backbone of cadet recruiting. 

(4) The medical examination of cadets presented 
almost similar difficulties to that of mechanics. 
Brigade standards were entirely different from 
those usually adopted by the local boards. 
It was very difficult to secure an examination 
which was anything more than superficial. 

The Barany revolving chair is now employed, and 
in doubtful cases trial flights involving specffied 


tests are given. In this way it has been poss- 
ible to accept some borderUne cases, where 
under the old system rejections would have 
been inevitable. 

(5) It should not be forgotten that in this, as well 
as in the campaign for recruits, the same staff 
was employed. 

The brigade was handicapped from the commence- 
ment by the absolutely inadequate staff provided. It 
has only been by most strenuous efforts in training 
officers and men in the work that it was carried on at 

At the time of the signing of the armistice, 9,200 
cadets had been enlisted for service, while 35,000 
applications had been handled by headquarters and 
the various outstations. 

Records and Personnel Supply 

Unusually complete records of cadets and airmen 
enlisted were kept from the very commencement of 
work in Canada. Where documents were sent to 
officer in charge Records and the War Office, dupli- 
cates were always kept. For this reason no change in 
organization or administration was necessary when 
in September, 1917, the General Officer Commanding 
was appointed officer in charge Records for Canada. 

The continuous growth of the Air Force in Canada 
has meant a corresponding growth in records. From 
time to time demands outgrew systems, and it became 
necessary to remodel, so as to conform to Imperial 
administration and yet dovetail with existing regula- 
tions and conditions in Canada. 

All posting of mechanics and of cadets throughout 
their training has been carried out by this unit. The 
records of the training of mechanics, and their pro- 
gressive history from station to station, have been 







I I I 



S § B 8 














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maintained by the individual card system. A complete 
history of each cadet from the time he first made appU- 
cation mitil the time he proceeded overseas, through 
every stage of training and every movement, has been 
kept in minute detail. 

New departments required organization to deal 
with pensions and other subjects on which there was 
very httle information available; while the work of 
handling other sections, such as discharges, was con- 
tinuaUy on the increase. 

In many cases the forms called for by K. R. were 
not available, new forms being printed locally, also 
those used by the Medical Services, which, although 
provided by the Canadian Mihtia, were often not 
applicable to Imperial requirements. 

It is found, however, on demobihzation, that the 
records are in excellent shape, and that the informa- 
tion at the disposal of this office is complete. 

Space does not permit of the printing of the 
hundreds of individual names making up the personnel 
of those committees in various towns to which the 
Corps is so greatly indebted, but to each and all, the 
General Officer Commanding tenders in the name of the 
Royal Air Force, his most sincere and hearty thanks for 
work, without which such progress as may be credited 
to the brigade could not have been achieved. 



<^ t .t t «. • c '^t" 




The Cadet Wing, like its younger and larger 
brother the School of Aeronautics, found shelter at 
its birth in buildings most kindly loaned by the Uni- 
versity of Toronto. This was at the beginning of 
March, 1917. 

Prior to this, all R.F.C. cadets recruited had been 
equipped, accommodated and generally looked after 
at Victoria College by the Canadian Officers Training 
Corps, of the University of Toronto. This unit, 
together with the School of Infantry of the District, 
continued for some weeks to ration the cadets, but 
during hours of parade they came under the Cadet 
Wing for instruction. 

Already there were in existence the Recruits Depot, 
Stores Depot and "X" Squadron at Long Branch. Up 
to now there had been no tuition prior to flying, 
except such as could be given by the much overworked 
but extremely efficient 2nd Lt. in command at Long 

The strength of the Cadet Wing was, to commence 
with, some 50 cadets, taken care of in ground instruc- 
tion by 2 officers, 3 non-conunissioned officer instructors 
and some two or three clerks. LectiKes covered 
artillery observation, organization of troops, mihtary 
law and such technicahties as rigging, engines, etc. 
It will, therefore, be seen that the two officers in 
charge were required to call upon the sum total of their 
knowledge and experience to discharge their official 
duties. The wing was fed direct by the recruiting 
office, since cadets did not at first pass through Recruits 

Gunnery instruction was added shortly, though the 
wing was woefully deficient in suitable material. 
Simultaneously courses were organized, and a regular 


programme set on foot. Through the courtesy of the 
O.C» School of Musketry MiHtary District No. 2, 
arrangements were made by which all cadets took 
a course in machine gunnery at Hart House, including 
range practice. A Curtiss machine was secured (a 
peculiarly massive aeroplane, discarded as impractical 
by the Curtiss Company), and though no mechanical 
power would have lifted it into the air, its bones 
served to illustrate the anatomy of the structure of 
which it was a prototype. There was also one Curtiss 
and one motor car engine. It will be noted that by 
now the wing had assumed the threefold function 
of a Cadet Wing proper, a School of Aeronautics and 
an Armament School. 

As can be understood, the course was not of any 
set length. The passage of a cadet through the 
organization depended upon his capacity to learn, 
and the requirements of the flying units. The first 
graduates proceeded to Long Branch where, equipped 
with such tuition as time had afforded, they began 
flying at once. By the end of April, drafts were sent 
to Borden, where further ground instruction was now 
being given. 

Further expansion came in May, and with it 
additional help from the University authorities. The 
splendid buildings of Burwash Hall were secured from 
Victoria College, and the commodious East Residence 
rented from the University of Toronto. It is diflicult 
to say what would have been the progress of this 
work of the Corps, were it not for the constant 
consideration received from the President, Governors 
and Superintendent of the University. 

With expansion, arrived also the need for some 
subdivision of duties. The Cadet Wing was too 
polyglot. It provided as much as humanly possible 
of everything, but not enough of anything. Came 
therefore the first demarcation between the Cadet 
Wing and the School of Military Aeronautics, — i.e. 
















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'lilt 9 



1 ' 










L . 





the junior and senior sections, though for official 
purposes of administration they were still unified. 
New instructional equipment arrived, and during 
May the strength of cadets rose to nearly 150. 

Before passing on to later history, it is desired to 
give sincere and ofiicial recognition to the splendid 
work done at this early stage in spite of meagre fa- 
cilities and an absurdly small staff. The difiiculties 
encountered were many and serious. The wing 
was still in the throes of active service organization, 
but all eyes were turned to the output of cadets as 
the crux of the situation, and the means by which 
officers and men ahke were to justify the programme 
then being worked out. The output has never failed, 
but at no period did it involve greater personal strain 
and effort than in these first two or three months of 
this unit's existence. 

On June the 11th, a staflF of nine oflScers and 
thirty-eight men arrived from England to form officially 
the School of Aeronautics, and took over general instruc- 
tion at the Cadet Wing prior to the final subdivision 
of the latter. This occurred on July 14th when the 
wing moved out to summer quarters at Long Branch 
which was then given up by "Y" Squadron as an 
aerodrome. Work continued with constantly increas- 
ing numbers, till the winter of 1917, when, on the de- 
parture of the 42nd and 43rd Wings for Texas, the 
unit divided itself between Borden and Mohawk for 
some six months. Here instruction continued without 
interruption till April 4th, 1918, on which date the 
two sections reamalgamated at Long Branch, with a 
strength that now reached a staff of 200 officers and 
men and 900 cadets. 

The formation of the Armament School in the 
early summer permitted the wing to cease elementary 
gunnery instruction and devote more time to drill, 
discipline and wireless, but it should be remembered 
that the Armament School was the logical expansion 


of work previously carried out at the Cadet Wing and 
School of Aeronautics. 

In the summer of 1918, the wing was on the lines 
of an infantry battalion, with four squadrons and a 
headquarters company. Drill, physical training, wire- 
less, topography and air force law were in the curricu- 
lum, but the essential and psychological duty of this unit 
was to impress on the new recruit those fundamental 
precepts of mihtary disciphne, honour and self respect 
on which his future career alone could be successfully 

As to relaxation there was begun on July 18th an 
excellent monthly magazine, "The Cadet Wing Re- 
view," which is second to none of similar pubhcations. 
Local talent also conducted a theatre which was a 
veritable centre of attraction. 

Through this summer, the average strength was 200 
staff, and 1,100 cadets. To house them for the winter, 
large barracks had just been completed at the close of 
hostilities. The output of cadets of the unit will be 
noted by the graph on page 161. 




l_IJ_J_l ^ I ^ t ^ 




By May 1917, it had become quite apparent that 
ground training of cadets demanded an expansion of 
treatment which could not be afforded by the then 
existing Cadet Wing, however, vahantly the latter 
unit might strive, and on the 15th a chief instructor, 
for the purpose of starting a School of Military Aeron- 
autics, was ordered to proceed to Canada, taking with 
him eight other officers and thirty-eight men of various 
ranks as a nucleus of an instructional staff. 

This advance party worked in conjunction with 
the Cadet Wing until July 1st, on which date No. 4 
School of Military Aeronautics was recorded as a 
separate and official organization. 

The anticipated expansion immediately took place, 
aided very greatly by the assistance, not only of the 
President of the University of Toronto, but also of the 
professors of that institution who gave up room after 
room, often at great inconvenience to themselves. 
About this time, also, a large shipment of aeroplanes 
and engines for instructional purposes was forwarded 
from England. It was unfortunately lost on the way 
out, the immediate effect being that for the first few 
months all practical instruction was confined to the 
Curtiss engine and JN4 aeroplane. 

The length of the course given during this period 
was three weeks, but at the end of the month it was 
increased to four, and comprised six ffights, covering 
engines, rigging, wireless, artillery observation, machine 
guns, and instruments and bombs. 

The importance of the work done at this unit was 
now most firmly established. The length of the course 
was increased in September to six weeks, and it was 
arranged that three courses went through the school 
at a time, each composed of 150 cadets with two weeks 





'^iPm '^1r«%*.|4:| I 

"aerial" of vicinity of university of TORONTO. 
(Note the Cadet Camp lying north of main University Building). 


intervening. By now the strength of the unit had 
increased to 19 officers, 119 non-conunissioned officers 
and men, 149 United States army and naval cadets and 
261 Imperial cadets. Occupation of the buildings so 
kindly furnished by the University authorities covered 
Burwash Hall, East and South residences. School of 
Practical Science, Medical Building, portion of Con- 
vocation Hall, Thermodynamics Building and dining 
halls in University and Victoria College. 

In September, instruction was further expanded by 
the formation of a school at the factory of the Canadian 
Aeroplanes Limited, where members of flying units 
received introduction to the theory and principle of 
aeroplane construction. There were three courses, each 
lasting eighteen days, and each being divided into 
ten squads, members of which remained together 
throughout their entire period of instruction. Exam- 
inations were set and corrected by an examining party 
at the School under direct supervision of the Com- 
mandant, when sixty-five per cent, of marks was 
necessary before a cadet passed through and was 
posted to a flying unit. 

In the month of December, 1917, the strength of 
cadets greatly increased and it became necessary to 
draw again on the goodwill of the University authorities 
and occupy WyclifFe College. Simultaneously a pool 
was formed in a remodeled hotel, Haydon House, some 
four miles from the School, where were housed such 
cadets as the flying units were unable to take owing to 
the reduced amount of flying during the winter months. 
By the end of the year cadets on the strength 
amounted to 721. 

Training meiterial now began to arrive more 
regularly from England, and, as a result, the instruction 
given was considerably diversified. 

In March, 1918, a seventh flight was formed for the 
study of aerial navigation, in which much more 
complete instruction was given in map reading and 


course plotting. Machine gun instruction was trans- 
ferred to the Armament School at Hamilton, and the 
time thus secured given to further study of aerial 

The practical education of the mechanics taught|at 
the School was ensured by the construction at Leaside 
of engine running sheds, in which engines of various 
types were set up and their operations drilled into all 
pupils under conditions which simulated those on active 
service as nearly as possible. Considerable improve- 
ment in the engine knowledge of cadets was im- 
mediately noticeable. 

On April 1st, cadets in training at the School, now 
called No. 4 School of Aeronautics, had reached 1,277, 
while the staff was composed of 26 officers and 230 
non-commissioned officers and men, with the inevitable 
result that another residence was taken over from the 
University, with housing capacity for 185. 

Again a flight was added to the course, this time for 
observers, and by July all cadets thus passing through 
the unit received instruction in aerial navigation, 
instruments, reconnaissance, organization of the Army 
and R.A.F., and general miUtary knowledge, photo- 
graphy, engines, rigging and wireless. 

In September, the process of engine instruction was 
still further advanced by discarding the fixed stands 
to which Curtiss engines had been rigidly attached, and 
substituting in their stead sections of aeroplane fusel- 
ages so balanced as to be capable of vertical adjustment, 
thus simulating the action of machines when in the 
air. To these were attached Clerget engines, which it 
was now proposed to use in cortj unction with the 
Avro machines contemplated for flying instruction. 
This departm^e from the reciprocating to the rotary 
type made it necessary to organize special classes of 
tuition for non-commissioned officers and men from 
various flying units. In this course, the assistance 


I ^ 


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(Note "Aerial" of this Camp on page 164.) 


given by the School Board of Toronto by the use of a 
portion of the Lippincott Technical School proved 
greatly to the advantage of the brigade. 

The only further change made in the system of 
instruction at the School of Aeronautics, was the intro- 
duction of the block system in October, 1918, under 
which forty hours were allotted to engines, twenty- 
seven to aerial navigation, twenty to wireless, twenty- 
six to rigging and thirty to artillery observation. The 
observers' flight was carried on independently of the 
above, and the ninety hours' instruction given to the 
latter on technical subjects covered all requirements. 

In concluding this very brief sketch of an extremely 
important section of the brigade, it is desired to 
specially acknowledge the services of not only the 
instructing officers but also of the non-commissioned 
officers and men on the staff. It fell to the duty of 
many sergeants and corporals to demonstrate the 
principles and theories of highly technical appliances, 
and to demonstrate them moreover in many cases to 
men who were much their seniors and who had had the 
advantage of a modern and expensive education. 
It was, however, uniformly observed that the non- 
commissioned officers who occupied this highly re- 
sponsible and difficult position, discharged their duty 
not only with a dignity beyond all praise, but also with 
an exemplary clearness based on an intimate knowledge 
of the subject. They were confronted very often with 
questions which would have confused many who laid 
definite claim to higher attainments, but it has not 
yet been found that any one of them was lacking either 
in the technical qualification or the power of self 
expression which was necessary for the satisfactory 
discharge of their duties. The marked improvement 
in the all-round ability of cadets arriving at the 
various flying wings after the School of Aeronautics had 
had time to finally find itself, is due to the excellent 
work done by officers and non-commissioned officers 
aUke at this imit, 



It is a far cry from the one-time pilot who, between 
the vagaries of his machine, took pot shots at his 
opponent with a revolver or sporting rifle, to his suc- 
cessor of to-day armed with a machine gun that dis- 
charges bullets at the rate of 600 per minute through a 
four-bladed propeller revolving at the rate of 1,200 
times a minute. It was, therefore, the object of 
instruction at the Armament School to so train the 
would-be pilot that he might have a thoroughly 
grounded knowledge of the weapons he was destined to 
use. The need of special tuition there given was 
further accentuated by the increasing pressure on the 
instructors at the School of Aeronautics. 

In March, 1918, the O.C. proposed to the War 
Office that this School be set on foot immediately, and 
matters had been so far advanced by May that neces- 
sary construction was well under way. Here again the 
R.A.F., Canada, was fortunate in being the recipient 
of much consideration from Canadian organizations. 
On learning that acconunodation was required for the 
purposes of the School, the Canadian Westinghouse 
Company Limited, one of the most important in- 
dustrial concerns in Canada, most generously offered 
the use of a large factory in Hamilton free of charge, 
together with adjacent groimds, and shortly after- 
wards the brigade was further helped by permission 
to use the area of a 9-hole golf course inunediately 
adjoining. This very considerate proposal was made 
by the Hamilton Golf Club, and was gratefully ac- 

These preliminaries successfully arranged, the 
matter began to move rapidly. 

In May three officers and two non-commissioned 
officers left England to form the nucleus of the 




' 1 ^tai^^^^ 




^vHPVw^ " ' ""W 




instructional staff, bringing with them such material 
as could be provided at the moment. The Aviation 
Department of the Imperial Munitions Board assumed 
responsibihty for the physical portion of the work 
in hand, under the supervision of the Royal Engineers 
section of the brigade. This provision included ranges, 
armouries, workshops, instructional and lecture build- 
ings, a hospital, and the general adaptation of the interior 
of the factory buildings to the purposes required. 

All this advanced so swiftly that by June 19th, 
the factory building was equipped, and the Armament 
School, which up to this time had formed a portion of 
the Cadet Wing at Long Branch, moved to its new 
quarters on June 20th. 

The course of instruction called for a much further 
excursion into apphed mechanics than any portion 
of the tuition formerly given. As it progressed, it soon 
became evident that the embryonic pilot was keen for 
intimate knowledge of the guns on the efficiency of 
which his future victories depended, and his general 
course was so modulated as to give him the opportunity 
to master the last detail. The question of a method 
of sighting which would allow a deflected aim to be laid 
on a moving machine received mathematical attention, 
as was also the synchronizing of a gun with the revolv- 
ing blades of the propeller. On this and other points, 
information was continually being received and com- 
municated through the School to other units of the 

Drafts of cadets, arriving on Wednesday after- 
noons, were inunediately handed over to the quarter- 
master's department, where arrangements for their 
domestic comfort were made for the four or five 
weeks they were to remain. The following morning 
instruction began, first with one gun, its description, 
action, care and possible troubles in the air, accompanied 
by range work and constant handling. The question 
of aiming was gradually introduced and ran progres- 


sively throughout the course, until the pupil felt that 
he could, without effort, fire the gun in the air, making, 
allowances for his own speed and direction, his enemy's 
speed, direction and range, and instantaneously adapt 
his fire to meet the ever-varying and never-ending 
manoeuvres of his own and his enemy's machine. 

Both guns and sights having been mastered, the 
cadet was introduced to the subject of gearing his 
gun to fire through his propeller at varying rates of 
revolutions. The principle upon which this gearing 
depended, though one of great difficulty in instruction, 
was nevertheless the subject which, of all others, pro- 
voked the greatest interest amongst the pupils. 

Arrangements were completed to enable the pilot 
actually to carry out the process of synchronizing his 
gears and propeller under conditions which perfectly 
simulated his position in a machine. He was thus 
enabled to watch the principle at work. 

Instruction being completed in two guns, ammuni- 
tion, aerial bomb sights and synchronizing gears, 
another section of the School undertook the pupils' 
training in bombs, bomb dropping and bomb sights. 

The increasing importance of this subject was 
appropriately balanced by the very wide range of 
sights and bomb-dropping apparatus demonstrated by 
specially experienced instructors, whereby the pupil 
was made cognizant of all the operations of loading 
bombs on machines, fusing them, attaching the 
necessary releasing gear, and so loading his machine 
that he could at will drop any type of bomb suited 
to any target which might suddenly present itself, from 
a group of infantry which needed scattering, to the 
ammunition dump to be exploded. 

The peculiar path taken by a bomb in falhng from a 
machine with a forward momentum imparted by the 
speed of the machine, needed very special mathematical 
calculation to enable the pilot to release it at a con- 











siderable distance from his objective, and to this end 
a variety of bomb sights were explained and practised 
with from dummy machines with unfused bombs over 
mechanically moving scenery. 

The flying camps, to which cadets were posted on 
the completion of their coiu'se in elementary gunnery, 
carried on further practices in cooperation with this 
school, and instructors were sent to these wings from 
time to time to cooperate, and to insure that no gaps 
or overlaps occurred in the cadet's training. By this 
means the pilot who left this country for overseas was 
assured that he had covered every section of the field 
of armament, and that no situation was Ukely to occur 
during his flying career with which he could not deal. 

In addition to the training of embryo pilots, courses 
of instruction were conducted for observers, during 
which, for a period of three weeks, they were made 
competent to handle the gun which they would be 
required to use overseas. By the use of guns with 
camera attachment, recording a photograph on a 
graduated screen instead of firing a shot, the resultant 
photograph revealed to the observer the effect of his 
shoot, and his graduation was not considered complete 
until he was able to produce a coUection of photographs 
which evidenced an automatic and deadly aim. 

During the period in which this School operated, 
an average of more than 400 cadets per month was 
instructed, and the record which each carried overseas 
showed a complete and thorough course of ground train- 
ing performed entirely under Canadian tuition. 



For the first few months, the Corps had an all 
sufficiency of work in organizing depots, selecting 
aerodromes, arranging for recruiting, and numberless 
other activities on all of which largely depended what- 
ever future success might be achieved. There was 
no aerial gunnery for the reason that there were no 
instructors. What had been done on the ground was 
elementary, and reasonably so, due to the lack of 
material. Matters moved forward when the first 
instructors arrived in Canada on April 25th, 1917, 
and, having formed a class of picked mechanics (the 
instructors of the future), enabled the School of Aerial 
Gunnery to be organized at Camp Borden on May 1st. 

The School had just two guns and 18 pupils — the 
historic "eighteen" who formed the first shipment of 
real pilots. The latter had no aerial work — ^the overseas 
call was too imperative — ^but each fired 40 rounds at a 
ground target. 

Meantime the School of Aeronautics was busy, and 
the effect became noticeable. Camp Borden, relieved of 
much elementary training, did higher and aerial work, 
and got for itself ranges, fixed targets and silhouettes. 
The course lengthened to three weeks with 100 rounds 
fired in the air from a Lewis gun — no aerial Vickers 
being available. In July came more guns and equip- 
ment from England, the second course began with 
62 cadets and the state of affairs definitely improved. 
Camera guns turned up, and became instantly popular. 
Work commenced on fitting a timing gear so that the 
gun might shoot through the propeller. The chief 
disadvantage was the shortage of serviceable machines 






In August began the third course with sixty-six 
cadets and an organization fairly complete, being 
forty officers and ten N.C.O. instructors. Now, too 
a JN4 machine was converted to a JN4A with the 
pilot in front and a ScarJff mounting behind for the 
observer, as in the Bristol fighter. A decided acquisi- 
tion this, and a quantity were ordered. Surprise 
deflection shooting was introduced. It was a busy and 
interesting period. 

The fourth course in September had 124 cadets. 
The tuition given was of proved value. Lectures came 
in by the fighting instructor, and naturally increased 
the pupils' confidence. The latter were now firing 750 
rounds from the ground and 150 from the air, and the 
squadron worked at high pressure to give each pupil 
three hours' aerial gunnery flying — a matter of difficulty 
owing to the scarcity of machines with synchronized 
guns. It was probably due to this that cadets were 
getting too much Lewis gun observers' work. The fault 
was rectified, though the mountings were not entirely 

The fifth course began in October with a total of 
238 pupils, who proceeded with the unit to Texas and 
enojyed excellent facilities which had been foreseen 
and provided. The number of available machines 
increased, and were divided into C.C. gear (synchron- 
ized gear) camera gun and turret machine flights. 
Actual aerial instruction was given twenty-four hours 
after arrival at this far Southern field. 

The history of Royal Flying Corps gunnery in 
Texas is a progressive document, too lengthy to give in 
detail. Here the unit had its first target practice 
over water — Lake Worth proving ideal for the purpose, 
and instruction was greatly aided owing to a better 
observation of fire and a clearer angle of approach. 
In December the pupils turned out numbered 264, 
an average flying time of practically five hours — a 
marked improvement. 


In January the aerial work of the School was 
further increased. Range work (25 yards) was taken 
over by the wings. All synchronized guns were moved 
from the side of the cowling to the top, thus creating 
active service conditions. No. 2 squadron came into 
being with twelve machines, giving 30 in toto, the 
work being done by flights. Two machines were con- 
verted to Canadian Gothas, with the gun firing through 
the bottom of the fuselage. The output of pupils 
increased to 310, with average flying time of 5}4 

; I February saw the use of a good armour-plated dis- 
appearing and running target, and cadets also fired 
from a cage that travelled along a cableway between 
two towers, but the speed was too low to be of value. 
The February output was 313 pupils. The instructing 
personnel had now increased to 60 ofiicers (50 flying), 
1 warrant ofiicer, 60 N.C.O.'s and 250 men. 

March, a busy month, with 336 pupils and flying 
time average of 63^ hours, was a record in output and 
time flown. 

April saw the School on its own aerodrome at 
Beamsville, Ontario, where facilities were ahead of 
anything heretofore existing. Came as well a third 
squadron. The output was 243 pupils, all R.F.C. 
with 7 hours and 40 minutes flying, the record time to 

In the following month the syllabus was amended, 
this being the result of a visit to England by the 
ofiicer in charge of Canadian training. All straight 
target shooting was abolished, and deflection sights 
were introduced so as to allow for a speed of 100 
m.p.h. of an enemy machine. Small model aeroplanes 
were built and set up beside the targets. At these the 
pupil aimed, the deflection of the gun sights bringing 
his shots on to the target where their accuracy was of 
course registered. No less than 17 various practices 
were laid down. The improvement in ground work 
soon became noticeable. 







In May, also, the Armament School opened at 
Hamilton, and reUeved the School of Aerial Gunnery 
of giving elementary instruction after pupils had 
already learned to fly. 

During June a fourth squadron was added to train 
observers exclusively, enabhng the School to adopt the 
ideal principle of giving all pilot cadets synchronized 
gear and camera gun training, and all observer 
cadets instruction in Lewis and turret camera guns, 
the sequence being as follows: — 

1. 1 hour dual camera gun — 12 pictures of sil- 
houette taken by diving on it from behind. 

2. 1 hour dual, with pictures of a target machine in 
the air, allowing for speed of 100 m.p.h. and 
necessary deflection. 

3. Dual, on C.C. gear (instructor in back seat) 
diving at angle of 60° to 45° at sUhouettes in 
Lake Ontario, 200 rounds or one hour. 

4. Dual, 1 hour or at least 60 rounds with gun 
stoppages. This determines the pupil's pro- 
ficiency in clearing jambs. 

5. Dual, enfiling with C.C. gear, 200 rounds 
diving from 1,000 to 100 feet at dummy trench 
in Lake Ontario. 

During all firing over the water, observations are 
taken from a watch tower, and a complete report of aU 
results is compiled. 

There follows then another 4 hours' dual, after which 
the pupil goes solo and repeats all he has previously 
done under the watchful eye of his instructor. 

Arriving at the final instructional squadron, there 
ensues an ultimate 4 homes' dual work before the 
nearly graduated pilot is asked to do one spiral, two 
vertical banks, three loops, four Immelmann turns, 
five half-roUs and six complete rolls. During all this 


time he is equipped with a camera gun, and expected 
to manoeuvre into a position favorable for attacking 
another machine, simultaneously avoiding being photo- 
graphed himself by an opponent. 

This brought about marked proficiency, and it was 
proved quite clearly that pilots had been going over- 
seas with too much straight shooting and not enough 
practice during stunting. The new system, however, 
brought tuition up to conditions actually existing at the 
front at the time. Several experienced pilots became 
available, and their lectures were most valuable. The 
output of cadets was (June) 182, but the average flying 
had gone up to 11 hours. 

In July the School became that of Aerial Fighting 
— a more descriptive title, since tactics were so promin- 
ent in its course. The contrast with June of 1917 was 
somewhat remarkable, there being now 92 oSicers and 
700 other ranks. During this month rocking nacelles 
and Scarff mountings were introduced for all ground 
work, and all pilot instructors were arranged to be 
examined monthly. This led to the discovery that 
refresher courses were necessary in cases, these being 
forthwith commenced. The month's output was 262, 
with flying time with guns of 11 hours. 

In August, the observers' course was well under 
way, being a modification of that arranged for pilots. 
There was naturally no C.C. shooting, but instruction 
covered every practical method of firing at possible 
targets from the observer's seat. This month there 
were graduated 246 pupils with a shghtly reduced 
flying time of 9J^ hours. 

By September pupils were passing all tests under the 
same instructor in any one squadron. This, coupled 
with the use of speaking tubes, was of considerable 
help. Further guns, gears and equipment had come 
in from England, and the situation was now vastly 
different from that which pertained to earlier months 






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when the School was forced to manufacture much of 
its own equipment. Instruction was going well, and 
the output reached 270, with a flying time of more than 
9 hours. 

The officer personnel expanded in October to 110, 
this being of great assistance. Pilots were limited to 
three hours per day in the air, and, in consequence, 
machines had not been reaching a maximum flying 
time. The effect of good instruction at the Armament 
School was now most noticeable, as pupils were coming 
through with increased technical knowledge of gunnery 
and guns. The first Canadian -built Avro machine 
was flown during this month, with a most satisfactory 
performance. The output touched 281 and flying 
time 10 hours. 

Such in brief is the record. The value may best 
be judged by the service rendered by those who passed 
from the harmless silhouettes floating on the smooth 
surface of Lake Ontario to engage the deadUer machines 
that haunted the high altitudes over the Western front. 



Before carrying out aerial practice with machine 
guns, embryo pilots and observers are required to 
attain a certain standard in camera gun work, both 
on the ground and in the air. The camera used is 
designed to resemble, both in operation and in ap- 
pearance, the Lewis machine gun, the difference being 
that upon the trigger being released the camera gun 
registers a photograph upon a film. Reloading is by 
pulling back the cocking handle, which brings another 
film into place. 

Practices being concluded, the cadet takes his own 
film to the nearest photographic sub-station, where it 
is developed in about ten minutes, and, still wet, is 
then submitted to the instructor, who forthwith 
criticizes the work of his pupil in the presence of the 

The camera gun is best suited for enabhng the 
pupil (pilot or observer) to ascertain his proficiency 
in the use of deflection sights, and his ability to place 
the enemy machine in correct position in the ring, 
according to his fine of flight. Errors in aiming are 
checked by the photograph being taken through a 
glass screen, this being marked with circles, each 
valued at seven and a half feet taken from 200 yards' 
distance, which is the distance advised for commencing 
a combat. On examining the film, after development, 
the instructor can explain the error in deflection or 
elevation by the position of the machine in relation to 
the rings. 

In the illustrations, these being from camera gun 
films, will be noted the enemy machine as seen by the 
gunner through the ring sight at the moment of 
firing. In the first case the aim is low and to the right. 


In the second print the pupil has fired low and in 
front. The encircled dot shows the point at which 
the gunner should have aimed when the pilot of the 
target machine was flying directly toward the inner 
ring at 100 miles per hour. 

On taking to the air with the camera gun, the 
observer is piloted by an instructor, and is initiated 
not only in the photographing of other machines, but 
also in manoeuvres which have for their object the 
avoidance of being photographed by the opposing camera 
gun. Finally, the pupil engages in aerial combat with 
another machine piloted by a "hostile" instructor, and 
each machine attempts to "shoot down" the other. In 
this contest the pilot or observer who obtains the most 
acciu'ate pictiu'es is counted the victor. Every prin- 
ciple of aerial fighting as taught both in lectures and 
in the air, is practised, and upon its completion the 
results, as inflexibly registered by the camera gun, are 
subject to the keenest criticism. 






It was, of course, recognized from the very first 
that thorough acquaintance not only with every means 
of communication from the air to the ground, but also 
abihty to read every signal necessarily transmitted 
from the ground to the air, was one of the most im- 
portant requirements in the training of a pilot. 

The ranging of guns (particularly heavies), the 
finding of targets and their destruction have all been 
successfully accomplished by cooperation between the 
pilot and the communicating battery. Numberless 
devices have been experimentally tried such as coloured 
lights, signaUing by lamps, etc., etc. ; but none proved a 
means of communication which was not only reliable 
but which also afforded no invitation to attack by the 
enemy. As the outcome, the wireless system from the 
aeroplane to the ground, and ground strips, or panneau, 
from the ground to the aeroplane were adopted and 
uniformly used. As far as concerns the training work of 
the Canadian wing of the Royal Flying Corps, the 
methods used were naturally those already estabhshed 
in England. 

On arrival at the Recruits' Depot, the cadet 
received his first initiation, together with a small 
amount of instruction in the code used. Moving 
hence to the Cadet Wing at Long Branch, wireless 
formed a definite part of the routine of the day's work. 
The cadet was required to successfully send and 
receive six words per minute, and for purposes of 
instruction telephones were connected to the buzzer 
circuits. In the tuition of sending, Morse recorders 
operated by means of a silenced key were installed, 
and picture targets, constructed with miniature lamps 
shining haphazardly through small holes, were operated 
from a switchboard. These represented shell bursts 


which the cadet was required instantly to locate and 

With six weeks' of wireless at the Cadet Wing, the 
pupil proceeded to the School of Aeronautics for 
further instruction, and heard lectures on picture 
target work and artillery cooperation from experienced 
observers. Requirements now demanded eight words 
per minute. After examination, his next step was to 
the elementary training wing at either Deseronto or 
Borden, where he not only carried on ground work, but 
also put into actual practice in the air the instruction 
already received. 

Moving on to North Toronto he reached the 
stage of final tuition in this section of his course. At 
varying distances from this station, puff targets were 
provided to simulate shell bursts, and the embryo pilot 
conducted himself as though on active service by 
locating the shoot and reporting it with necessary ad- 
justments to the battery receiving station. Such was 
the value attached to this phase of training, that eighty 
per cent, of the observations sent down were required to 
be correct before the pupil was considered passed. The 
tests included reading ground messages, bomb dropping, 
etc., the latter being checked by a camera obscura 
hut which was used as the target. In this process it 
was necessary that the cadet adjust his bomb sights 
both for the speed and altitude of his machine. This 
being done, his wireless key was depressed and the 
actual position of his machine recorded in the camera 
obscura hut at the moment of signalKng, which 
moment, it was understood, was the instant at which 
the bomb would have been dropped were the machine 
in actual service. The result recorded infallibly the 
amoimt of judgment which had been used. Some idea 
of the extent of this School may be gathered from the 
fact that a torn- around the batteries involved a 60 
mile trip. Bomb-dropping, though having no connec- 
tion with artillery observation, was here practised as a 
matter of convenience. 







If it be asked why the pilot does not receive as well 
as send wireless messages while in the air, it may be 
stated that up to the present the difficulties of receiving 
on a trailing aerial have been such that what might be 
termed a graphic ground method has proved preferable. 
Large ground strips are, on active service, an invitation 
for bombardment by the enemy and are being aided by 
the Popham Panneau, a method of signalling consisting 
of the rapid forming up of small, symmetrical, rec- 
tangular figures, by arrangements of white bands cap- 
able of rapid variation. In general they are the 
combination of the letter "T" with short, symmetrical 

The Aldis lamp, also used, is an improvement on 
the heUograph, and reflects the rays of an electric 
globe instead of sunhght, but it will be understood that 
recent advances in wireless telephoning have revolu- 
tionized the above methods. 

A word is in place with regard to the Artillery 
Cooperation School at Leaside through which all 
pilots of necessity must pass. The equipment is the 
result of very brilliant work by an R.A.F. officer. The 
maps themselves represent two sections of the Western 
front, and are reproduced with vivid accuracy from 
aerial photographs. Each is 40 feet x 20 feet, and 
contains some eighty targets so arranged as to allow 
switching from one gun pit to another, thus foUowing 
the actual work of destruction by imaginary batteries. 
Zone calls are arranged for all targets, these repre- 
senting every possible point for bombardment, such 
as hostile battery positions, trench points, railroads, 
cross roads and fortified positions in enemy towns. 
British and German trenches are shown on a scale of 
approximately five inches to one hundred yards. 

The total number of electric globes used to simulate 
bursts is 1,360, and the two balconies where the 
observing pilots sit are so equipped that every opera- 
tion which must be carried out in doing wireless tests 


must be completed before signals can be received by 
the operator seated below at the imaginary battery. 
Space does not permit of a detailed description of the 
intricate, electrical work required to complete this 
admirable installation. It suffices to say that those 
best quaUfied to judge deem it a very considerable 

Rotary targets are also used, as by turning them 
practically the same condition is created as that which 
confronts the pilot when turning his machine in the 
air. These, too, represent a reproduction of well-known 
sections of the Western front. 

A special map was devised for contact patrol work, 
presenting three distinct lines of trenches together 
with an equal number of groups of headquarters, as 
well as machine gun pits, tanks, etc., while wireless 
sending was coupled up with Aldis lamp work — the 
latter requiring to be read at four words per minute. 

At the conclusion of instruction of every course it 
was demanded that every cadet both receive and send 
at a speed of eight words per minute before being 
allowed to proceed with aerial tests. 




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The Air Force is the eye of the army, and the 
camera the recording eye of the airman. It is there- 
fore, of prime importance that aerial photography 
in all its phases be mastered by the would-be pilot. 
Failure cannot be risked. Too much is involved in 
sending machines on long photographic reconnais- 
sance. Their results should indicate everything from 
a narrow path through enemy Avire to a camouflaged 
German aerodrome. 

In order to secure the best type of instruction, 
the R.A.F. has availed itself of the services of officers 
of experience on all points. Training begins at the 
School of Aeronautics. Here ground tuition is given, 
including everything from camera mechanism to colour 
filters and panchromatic plates, from map making to 
mosaics, the relative size of objects and the value of 
shadows in estimating heights. 

Leaving the School, the cadet takes to the air to 
be tested by photographing given points, his 
ground instruction still proceeding. In the case of 
the observer, the course is the same, and all such work 
forms part of a general mapping scheme which aimed 
at the compiUng of a complete reproduction of the 
areas around the several aerodromes. 

Bad weather, usually considered a bugbear, is 
not allowed to interfere. By the use of a wide shutter 
slit and the very best lenses, tests are made in all 
weathers, and active service conditions thus paraUeled. 
That photographic instruction has been faithfully 
given and intelligently received, may be seen from the 
excellent reproductions of aerial work presented in 
this volume. 

From the foregoing it might be assumed that the 
art is simply acquired, but such is not in any way the 


case. To use his lens with complete facility, the 
pupil must correctly estabhsh his height, his relative 
position with the objects to be photographed, and, 
generally speaking, be sufficiently at home in the air 
to do his flying instinctively and devote his chief 
attention to the camera. 












Training development in England had now reached 
a point at which elements already recognized but not 
hitherto fully appreciated were proved to be invaluable. 
Their use was aimed primarily at the attaining of 
instinctive flying by the pupil. The means by which 
this was achieved, the consequent effect on the in- 
structor, and the reduced fataUties during instruction 
are sufficiently notable to call for mention. 

The product has been the active-service pilot as 
distinguished from the peace pilot — two vastly differ- 
ent individuals. 

The actions and reactions of this system are in 
general psychological. They begin with the assump- 
tion that since fear is almost invariably of the unknown, 
once the latter is eliminated fear should be non-existent. 
The approach is, therefore, by way of wiping out 
ignorance concerning the air and the machine in which 
the pupil and instructor ascend, and illustrating, while 
in flight, the simplicity of those laws which are funda- 
mental to all good pilots and machines. 

This, while seemingly simple enough, involves an 
ultimate strain on the instructor. His pupils are, it is 
true, limited to six, but into each of these he is expected 
to pour the sum of his knowledge and skill. He is 
personally responsible for their crashes. At first blush 
apparently unjust, this resolves itself into an absolutely 
fair deduction from the principles of the system. A 
crash by a pupil — engine failure and aeroplane failure 
being too infrequent to alter the premise — ^is considered 
as due to an imperfection of training. At some stage 
in the course some indispensable point must have been 
sUghted or overlooked. Hence the pupil's inabiUty to 
meet the emergency. 


Character — ^that subtle union of temperament and 
disposition, the increasing air sense, the dehcacy of con- 
trol, the spontaneous response, the nameless faculty 
by which the pupil becomes, as it were, welded to the 
machine which in turn replies to the subconscious 
movement of hand and foot — the study of all these are 
found in the Armour Heights system, which itself is 
based on an admirable method originated at Gosport, in 
England. The pupil is expected to do the flying, and 
even in an emergency the instructor does not assume 
control until it is demonstrated that the pupil is Hter- 
ally out of his depth. 

And always by telephone or tube sounds back from 
the front seat the guiding voice, encouraging, re- 
proving, suggesting and probing the mental process 
of the pupil at the moment. Take,* for instance, the 
spin, that plunge easy to commence and equally easy 
to terminate. The machine slows, stalls, dips and dives 
earthward. At the second spin comes steadily in the 
word of experience — "stick a httle forward — not too 
much — right rudder — hold her there — that's right — easy 
isn't it ? — feel all right ? — let's do it again — put her in 
yourself this time." With such an "entente cordiale" 
as this, it is clear why the words "danger" and "nerves" 
are barred from the instructor's vocabulary, and 
the terms "safe" and "dangerous" give place to "right" 
and "wrong." The pupil has obtained the sense of 
relationship between himself and his machine. 

It is admitted that the art of instruction is difficult 
from the lecture platform, but how much more arduous 
when weaving circles at 5,000 feet, with an invisible 
tyro in control. Confidence is born quickly in these 
high altitudes, but since the system looks to the 
instructor, rather than to the pupil, the strain on the 
former is commensurate with the added advantages 
extended to the latter. 

Herewith a few excerpts from an admirable syllabus 
issued by the Air Ministry in this connection. They 
are curt, valuable and saturated with experience: — 




"Put the pupil in the pilot's seat from the very 

"Control your pupils in the air entirely by word of 
mouth through the speaking tube. 

"When a pupil makes a mistake in the air let him 
first exhaust his own ideas of how to put things right 
if height permits. 

"Make it a point of honour to allow pupils full con- 
trol, except, of course, in cases of emergency. 

"Your greatest duty is to inspire your pupils with 
confidence in themselves, in their machines and in you. 

"If the weather is too bad for instruction, you should 
fly yourself for the sake of the spirit it produces. 

"Every time a pupil does something in the air he 
has never done before he increases his confidence. 

"Instructors are responsible for the crashes of their 
own pupils, and the saving of a crash compensates for 
any amount of additional dual control. 

"Have all your machines rigged properly, and fly 
them frequently yourself to see that none get into a 
bad condition. 

"The time available during training is ample for a 
pupil to be made a real pilot, provided he makes up 
his mind never to waste time in the air and is taught, 
not left, to teach himself.*' 

The progress of instruction is roughly indicated 
below, this sequence of manoeuvres having been 
developed in Canada to suit local conditions and the 
general type of pupil available : — 

Demonstrate eflfect of the controls. 

Flying straight, level and climbing. 


Misuse of controls in turns. 

Difference in control with the engine off. 


Slow flying. 
Gliding turns. 
Taking-off into wind. 
Landing into wind. 
Spinning, etc. 

The pupil now goes solo. 

Steeper turns, with and without engine. 

Climbing turns. 

Flatter ghde. 


Taking-ofF and landing across wind. 

Landing on a mark. 

Forced landings. 

Higher manoeuvring. 

From the moment of introduction of the Armour 
Heights system, a modification of the training of in- 
structors became necessary. The psychological phase of 
the new method demanded recognition, and steps were 
taken forthwith to analyze and increase the personnel 
of aerial tuition at all units. The School of Special 
Flying resolved itself into a station of five products, 
as indicated by the graph given herewith. The value 
of each class to the Royal Air Force, Can., has been 

The crashes resulting in fatalities showed, under 
the new Armour Heights system, a notable decrease as 
evidenced by the chart on page 218. To reaUze the full 
significance of this chart, it is necessary to remember 
that the pilot who is an "Armour Heights graduate" 
has performed in the air every manoeuvre of which 
his machine is capable. He has solved all aerial prob- 
lems. Whatever protective agencies human skill and 
experience could formulate were put into operation, 
and the record in respect of fatalities is so low as to 
be a tribute to the ceaseless care exercised. 


* ' PEGASUS ' ' 




■§ ^ 







And if it should be asked why those phases of the 
system which may be termed its humanities are of so 
recent development, the answer hes in the fact that 
what is termed "air sense" called for an investigation 
of personal phenomena in respect of which science had 
not a single landmark. Men watched the bird curving 
its wings to invisible gales, and hazarded numberless 
theories. Early machines were tricky compared to 
their successors. They lacked present eflSciency, re- 
Uability and simphcity. The sum total of the powers 
of the pilot were busy meeting mechanical difficulties, 
and there was httle opportunity for excursions into the 
psychology of the new art. The honour of service is 
equal, but the pilots sent overseas by the R.A.F., 
Can., in 1918, have in comparison with the pilots of 
1914 a vastly superior technical and mental training. 
They have advanced step by step with the world's 
knowledge of the air. 

To reduce it to a sentence, the system of to-day 
turns out a pilot who is subdivided, so to speak, into 
two sections. One is subjective and does the flying. 
The other is objective, free for retreat or pursuit, de- 
fence or attack or any of the countless situations of 
aerial warfare which call for swift and fearless action. 



The Armour Heights special course for instructors 
commenced on or about April 1st, 1918, with one 
squadron detailed for duty. As will be inferred, this 
was the direct outcome of the adoption and further 
development by the R.A.F., Canada, of the method of 
tuition known as the Gosport system, then in use in 
Great Britain. 

It might be well to explain that the Armour Heights 
course differs in important respects from the instruc- 
tion given in England. Up till the present, it was 
not considered that the JN4 machine, as used, was 
capable of performing all higher manoeuvres, such as 
rolhng, looping, etc. It had therefore been, so to speak, 
set aside by the British authorities for what might 
be called lower training. The higher and more 
difficult evolutions had been reserved until the pilot 
went overseas and was trained in the use of fast, 
service machines. With the Canadian JN4, however, 
all the higher manoeuvres were now performed by 
speed and not by engine power. This naturally neces- 
sitated considerable dexterity of manipulation. 

By the first of July, ninety-five instructors were 
passed out of the School. On this date a second 
squadron was absorbed for the purpose of tuition and 
the School of Special Flying came into existence, 
with thirty-six machines and an average of twelve 

At the beginning of October an output of sixty for 
the month was counted on. This was lowered to 
forty-two, owing to the severe epidemic of influenza 
then prevalent, which considerably reduced the number 
of serviceable instructors. 

The primary aim of the tuition has been to obtain 
smooth and correct work and a fight-handed method of 


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flying, as it was found that when pilots used perforce 
only JN4 machines they were apt to develop a 
somewhat heavy touch, unless extreme care was exer- 
cised. Stunting and contour chasing were particularly 
encouraged amongst instructors and others with suffi- 
cient air experience, and since the duty of the School 
was to instruct instructors, the personality of the 
latter was always considered a determining factor 
entirely apart from ability as a pilot. 

An important duty performed by the School, was 
the calling in of most of the instructors then in the 
brigade, in order to thoroughly acquaint them with the 
new methods involved in tuition as given in the Armour 
Heights course. This proved entirely justified. 

It was found, also, that even in the case of most 
experienced pilots, who had been flying fast machines 
overseas, great advantage was secured by taking the 
course, since it was required that they depend to a 
much greater extent upon correct flying, far more skill 
being required to do higher manoeuvres on a low- 
powered machine. 

The dual time put in by instructors who passed out 
for wing duty was reduced from fourteen hours to 
eight hours in the course of four or five months, as 
a result of better instruction at the wings, this being 
indirectly due to the fact that the instructors under 
whom they had flown in each squadron had them- 
selves been through the Armour Heights course. It 
was found that three hours' solo to one hour of dual 
instruction was most advantageous. 

The above notes give very baldly an outhne of the 
purpose of the School, and it will be found necessary 
to take them in conjunction with the chapter on the 
Armour Heights system in order that the essential 
elements of this tuition may be fully realized. 



The "crash" diagram is, after all, the most definite 
and conclusive record of the success or failure of any 
system of flying instruction. Its facts are incon- 

During the earlier period of the history of the 
Corps in Canada, there was, of course, in use a con- 
stantly broadening system whereby the details of all 
aerial accidents were instantly forwarded to head- 
quarters. It was not, however, until the Armour Heights 
method had been in definite operation for some months 
that it became possible to re-analyse the then existing 
proceedure in the light of new knowledge, and evolve 
a} form of records which completely reflected all the 
various instrumentalities which required diagnosis. 

This statement carries no reflection on either the 
instructors or the methods of instruction pertaining 
to the first year's operation of the unit. As in all 
its other activities, out of experience came knowledge, 
the application of which was instantly undertaken. 
We find, then, that during the summer of 1918 not 
only were the salient features of the crash carefully 
investigated, but also aU those possibly contributory 
causes in some one of which will almost certainly 
be found some vitally important feature. 

The first procedure was to classify the crash. 
The method adopted will be seen in the index of the 
graph on page 229. Prior, however, to this classifica- 
tion, which of course is only established by means of 
close technical examination of the damaged machine, 
the unit to which the machine belonged sent to 
headquarters by telegraph or telephone, whichever 
was the faster, the following information: — 

(1) Regimental number, rank and name of 
personnel concerned, stating which is pilot 
and which is passenger. 

(2) Injuries sustained and by whom. 

(3) Precis of accident. 

(4) Time and date. 

(5) Type and number of machine. 

(6) Number of hours solo and dual flown by 

(7) Whether next-of-kin has been notified. 

(8) Whether Canadian press (if necessary) has 
been notified. 

(9) Whether court of enquiry is being held. 

The next procedure was to further analyze the 
accident by estabhshing as quickly as possible all 
facts which might tend to elucidate information. 
Under the nine succeeding headings come also certain 
crashes from one or more contributory causes — the 
latter to be further classified in relative proportion, 
whether primary or secondary. 

i. Aeroplane defect — 

(a) Breakage. 

(b) Engine failure. 

(c) Faulty rigging, 
ii. Error of judgment — 

(a) Not due to poor instruction. 

(b) Probably due to poor instruction, 
iii. Loss of head. 

iv. Brain fatigue. 

V. Fear. 

vi. Physical illness, 
vii. Unavoidable, 
viii. Disobeying — 

(a) Rules of the air. 

(b) Instructions for that flight. 

(c) Standing orders. 

ix. Weather (wing visibility, temperature effects). 


As some accidents will have one or more contribu- 
tory causes, they will be shown under two headings:— 

Primary cause. 

Secondary or contributory cause. 

It will be seen at a glance that the bringing forth 
of this information involved reference to records 
already in existence, and which had been maintained 
with particular care in order they might be fully 
available when thus crucially needed. There was sent, 
fm*thermore, specified information with regard to 
certain possible contributory causes, such as "loss of 
head," "brain fatigue" or "fear." Under "loss of head," 
for instance, it is pointed out that the pupil in his 
new occupation of flying, especially for the first time, 
has every mental faculty on the alert at extremely high 
tension, and that the sense of danger, although not 
asserting itself, is also subconsciously present. It 
follows, therefore, that under the strain of an emergency 
the power of synchronized decision and act may lapse — 
this lapse resulting in what is known as "loss of head." 
When there is added to this the fact that in flying, not 
only seconds, but parts of a second count enormously, 
it wUl be clear that after an actual loss of head there 
is seldom time to correct an error. 

"Brain fatigue" and "fear" are allied to "loss of 
head;" when the pupil reaches the stage in which he 
has neither the power to reason, decide or act. Then 
supervenes a state of mental inertia due to the swiftly 
repeated stream of impulses received in rapid suc- 
cession by his brain. He begins to feel alone, and 
unable to assume control. Errors occur, and he becomes 
overwhelmed with the enormousness of the whole 
thing. FoUows a state of brain fatigue and stupor, 
during which he awaits events and takes little part 
in the control of his machine. After such an accident, 
the pupil has generally no recollection of what has 
happened. His memory seems to be partially stunned. 
Under these circumstances, it seldom occurs that 





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I . 




he resumes flying — ^his temperament as a general 
thing proving to be unsuitable. 

It is important that ** brain fatigue" should be 
sharply separated from "fear." The latter is rarely 
experienced in the air on the first few solo flights, the 
pilot's mind being far too much concerned with the 
details of flying, watching the various instruments, 
and in checking his position and direction in the air 
relative to the ground. Many confess to a lurking 
sense of danger, but aU say that it rarely if ever asserts 

Turning again to the graph on page 218, and now 
keeping in mind the classification of crashes, it is 
interesting to note that, owing to the introduction 
of the Armour Heights system, crashes in which the 
machine is totally wrecked were reduced from 53 in the 
month of June to 21 in part of the month of November. 
"B" and "C" crashes in which longerons are broken, 
were reduced from 43 in June to 12 in November. 
"D" crashes, which are those affecting only the under- 
carriage or planes, and are usuaUy due to rough ground 
being insufiiciently allowed for, or too late a puU back 
on the control ere the machine comes into contact 
with the earth, feU from 107 to 16. While the general 
reduction is most gratifying, the improvement in the 
acquirement of a deUcate control necessary to make 
workmenlike landings is remarkable. 

It will be observed that although training was con- 
tinually being intensified, fatahties decreased from 1 
in 1,760 hours' flying in July, 1918, to 1 in 5,300 
hours' flying in October, 1918, and this in spite of the 
fact that pilots were doing afl aerial manoeuvres. 
Ofiicial data from other training centres, where work 
was done on varying types of machines, show 1 
fatality for 1,170 hours' flying. 





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The entry of the United States into the war 
affected almost immediately the programme of the 
R.F.C. in Canada. There was now next door, instead 
of a neutral if friendly nation, a vast organization 
associated with us in the greatest of all undertakings, 
and when in April the O.C. was authorized to visit 
the War Department in Washington and discuss a 
reciprocal scheme for training pilots, he found the 
U.S. authorities animated by the keenest possible 
spirit. The idea of cooperation was attractive to 
both services. It would not only stimulate a most 
desirable comradeship between the two, but would be 
of direct assistance to the U.S. Signal Corps in training 
their tremendous reserves of admirable recruits, as 
well as possibly obviate the necessity of the R.F.C. 
forming a fourth wing in British Columbia, where the 
preparation of aerodromes was already under way. 

The move was preceded by formal communications 
between the two governments, but the details of 
organization, equipment and training, on behalf of 
the British, rested with the O.C, R.F.C, Canada. 
Briefly they were as follows: — 

(1) The R.F.C. was to train ten squadrons for the 
U.S. Signal Corps, comprising 300 pilots, 144 other 
flying officers, some 20 administrative and equipment 
officers and approximately 2,000 mechanics. This 
training was to be conunenced immediately in Canada, 
and completed at Fort Worth, Texas. All training 
equipment, aerodromes, etc., in Canada to be pro- 
vided by the R.F.C 

(2) The Aviation Section, United States Signal 
Corps was to provide in Texas, and equip with all the 
necessary buildings, water supply, etc., two aerodromes 
capable of acconamodating 10 squadrons, and part of 


a third for the Aerial Gunnery School; these areas to 
be occupied and under the control of the R.F.C. 

(3) The Aviation Section, United States Signal 
Corps was to provide in Texas all aeroplanes, spares, 
running supphes (oil, gasoline, etc.)? office and barrack 
fixtures and other camp equipment. The R.F.C. to 
supply gunnery, wireless and all other ground instruc- 
tional equipment. 

(4) Each service would provide its own pay, 
clothing and transportation, and draw rations on re- 
payment during their stay in each other's country. 

(5) The R.F.C. to supply all medical services in 
Canada, and vice versa. 

This general arrangement was found to be mutually 
acceptable, and it was agreed, in addition, that the 
invaluable assistance of the I.M.B. in Canada, should 
be continued in Texas by the establishment there of 
a section of their purchasing staff. 

Such was the proposal noted on the back of an 
envelope by the chiefs of each service, and it was 
carried out by both to the letter. 

The brigade was already acquainted with the 
splendid pilot material available in the U.S., as many 
had enUsted in Canada, hoping to reach France at the 
earUest possible moment. Their record lives, and some 
of the success of the Corps is due to the admirable 
progress they made in training. They came — 
studied hard, and got into the air at every opportun- 
ity, breathless to join those forerunners whose names 
were already written large. 

Commencing early in July, 1917, the brigade re- 
ceived for training from the U.S.S.C., about 1,400 
enhsted men and cadets. A colonel of the 
Signal Corps describes them as under-officered, un- 
organized, impaid, without records, and though one 







hestitates — practically without uniforms. The im- 
mediate result for the R.F.C. was administrative 
chaos, but, in due course, matters were smoothed out, 
and when they returned south in the fall, they were 
already assuming a semblance of entity as United 
States A.ero Squadrons. 

On September 24th, 1917, the advance party left 
for Texas, composed of 4 U.S. officers and 50 men 
and 4 R.F.C. officers and 34 men, constituting a wing 
headquarters and a fatigue party, who, arriving in 
Fort Worth on September 26th, immediately proceeded 
to their headquarters in that city. They found there 
were three fields located north, south and west of Fort 
Worth, named, locally. Hicks, Benbrook and Ever- 
man, but grouped under the Signal Corps title of Camp 
Taliaferro, Fields Nos. 1, 2, and 3. Construction 
had been delayed through various causes. Barracks 
and aerodromes were incomplete. At one field build- 
ing had been barely started. Water and fight supply 
and sewage disposal had not been finished. Thus, 
although every effort was made to complete construc- 
tion, it was nearly three months before this was 
accomplished, entailing much delay, inconvenience and 
some hardship on the squadrons occupying camps and 
quarters not ready for them. 

The first to arrive from Canada was the 17th 
Aero Squadron, U.S.S.C., which marched in to Hicks 
Field on October 17th. From that time on one 
squadron arrived weekly until November 17th when 
the 42nd and 43rd Wings R.F.C. and the balance of 
the Americans detrained, preceded only by a few days 
by advanced headquarters staff. 

There were now in Texas two R.F.C. Wings, the 
42nd at Everman and 43rd at Benbrook, the 17th, 22nd, 
27th, 28th Aero Squadrons and the School of Aerial 
Gunnery at Hicks, advanced headquarters, R.F.C, 
headquarters U.S.S.C., Camp Tafiaferro and the 
purchasing section of the I.M.B. in Fort Worth. 


Transportation arrangements for these units from 
Canada to Texas were exceptionally good. The 
42nd and 43rd Wings ceased flying on 14th November 
and recommenced in Texas on 17th November, a loss 
of only three days occasioned by a jom^ney of approxi- 
mately 1,600 miles. 

It would not be amiss to mention the enormous 
amount of work thrown on A.O., A.E., and Q.M. 
branches through the novel situation that now existed. 
The U.S. owned the buildings, but the R.F.C. used and 
were responsible for those they occupied. There were 
R.F.C. squadrons and, beside them, American squad- 
rons being trained by the R.F.C. but administered 
by their own authorities. Aeroplanes, engines, oil, 
gasoline, etc., were supplied by the U.S., but the R.F.C. 
directed flying, and repaired and rebuilt machines and 
engines, drawing the necessary spares from U.S. stores. 
The Aviation Department of the I.M.R. transacted 
R.F.C. affairs as though in Canada, and with equal 
facility. Cadets and men were being received con- 
tinually for training, and as continually trained and 
returned to their own organizations. Am'erican rail- 
roads honoured transportation warrants redeemable in 
Ottawa. The R.F.C. medical ofiicers quarantined the 
R.F.C, in which there were hundreds of Americans, 
against U.S. camps a few miles away. Weekly train- 
loads of Canadian-made engines and aeroplanes arrived, 
came under U.S. control and were immediately used 
by the R.F.C. 

The situation was, in short, as though an area in 
Texas had been temporarily acquired by the British 
Empire, and in it members of an Imperial force con- 
ducted their affairs with the utmost freedom. There 
was friction of course — ^for no two great military systems 
can work together with all their national traditions, 
usages, procedures and regulations, without many 
minor and some major adjustments being necessary. 
It was, however, the friction of two keen and rival organ- 
izations pressing toward the same object. Difficulties 



A DIVE AT "hungry LIZZIE. 









V i;-J TEXAS. 


arose only to be met and overcome by the spontaneous 
goodwill and friendship of both services. 

Before moving to Texas many American cadets 
had nearly finished their training. Their first flights 
in their own country were over aerodromes situated 
amid open territory with no timber and comparatively 
flat. Excellent material these men, the best the 
U.S. could supply, most of them fresh from great 
American universities, young, keen and quick to learn. 
There were very few who did not turn out excellent 
pilots. The supply of machines was satisfactory, the 
standard of flying was good, and daily acrobatics took 
place. Formation flying was popular. On one occas- 
ion a formation of six machines, all piloted by newly 
graduated cadets, were seen to loop several times con- 
secutively, retaining their formation, a most unusual 
performance at that time at any aerodrome in the 
United States. 

A summing up of the work in Texas shows a total 
of 67,000 flying hours between November 17th and 
April 12th, spent in turning out 1,960 pilots trained and 
partly trained, both U.S. and R.F.C. Besides these, 
69 non-flying ofiicers and 4,150 men were trained in their 
respective duties. The flying fatalities were 1.88% of 
pilots trained — an excellent record. The medical per- 
centage is equally good, showing 3% incapacitated from 
all causes. 

Flying conditions were found to differ somewhat 
from those in Canada. The atmosphere was much 
dryer and less buoyant. Calm air was the exception, 
despite the comparatively flat country. The tempera- 
ture range was much wider, and on the arrival of a 
"norther," the air became chilled with extraordinary 
rapidity, the thermometer dropping from 70 to 20 
degrees Fah. in a couple of hours. This sudden drop 
was more trying to many than the colder but steadier 
temperature of higher latitudes. Texas, though pre- 
simied a dry state, departed this winter from its 


custx)m, and suffered heavy rainfalls and even snow, 
which reduced the aerodromes at times to a drab 
plain surfaced with a sticky blanket of mud, from which 
undercarriages and propellers suffered grievously at 
times. No less than 40 propellers were broken in one 
morning, and the average for one month was 10 per 
day. So troublesome was the mud that finally the 
brigade was forced to adopt the use of wire mesh 
mud guards. No provision had been made for sub- 
draining any of the fields. These periods, however, 
were but occasional. For the rest, the winter was one 
of favorable weather with high, clear skies, dotted from 
dayhght till dark with innumerable machines. 

Much admirable work was done by the personnel 
of both services, of which perforce no record can be 
given. In one instance an American squadron allotted 
to Hicks Field marched into new and unfinished bar- 
racks. There was no camp equipment, no water or 
sewerage. The hangars were congested with machines 
in packing cases, and there were no tools, yet within 
eight days the packing cases had disappeared and all 
machines were serviceable and ready to fly. A remark- 
able performance for a unit of partially -trained men. 

No account of the Texas experience would be com- 
plete without some record of the spontaneous hospital- 
ity and goodwill shown by the citizens of Fort Worth 
and the community in general. During Christmas 
time, pneumonia was rampant at Camp Bowie, some 
six miles from Fort Worth, where there were no less 
than 35,000 Texans, composing the Panther Division. 
As a result the Canadians were quarantined. This 
made no difference, however, to the all-hospitable 
Texan, who extended to officers, cadets and mechanics 
so many and lavish invitations that at the year's end 
there was not a man who had not personally experienced 
the goodwill of the South. The interest created by the 
first arrival of the brigade in strange uniforms and 
caps seemed to continue throughout the winter. No 




Flying Corps man was allowed to walk, when every 
privately owned motor car was at his service. Liaison 
duties were most admirably discharged by the Ameri- 
can officer who made it not only his particular duty 
but pleasure to see that all newcomers were welcomed 
under his kindly roof, and had every opportunity of 
meeting brother officers under the most delightful 

Fort Worth citizens subscribed the sum of $75,000 
to provide funds for the local branch of the American 
War Service Board, and rented a large club room and 
dancing hall in the centre of the city, where com- 
fortable accommodation was found for men of both the 
American and British services. This organization was 
under the management of a **Big Brother," who 
seemed born to the work. Canteen and dancing halls 
were supervised by an organization, the Federated 
Ladies' Clubs of Fort Worth, in which each of the 
latter endeavoured to excel in hospitahty, and it fell 
on one memorable night that the Canadians were 
entertained by the daughter of the President of the 
United States. 

The Country Club was at the disposal of visiting 
officers, who will long remember the evenings spent 
in the best of fellowship. The ever-present Y.M.C.A. 
saw to it that conunodious huts and writing rooms were 
furnished in all Canadian flying camps. It is im- 
possible, in short, to imagine any source of pleasure, 
interest or entertainment which was not provided 
during these notable months in the history of the 

On the evening before the departure of the R.F.C. 
a smoking concert was given by U.S. officers to their 
comrades, an entertainment which was eloquent of the 
comradeship born of strenuous times of mutual work, 
and prophetic of that still closer brotherhood which 
would follow in the days of active service. 


The appended copy of a letter from Major-General 
Kenly reveals his generous appreciation of the effort of 
the R.F.C. personnel: — 

"War Department. 
"Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 

"Air Service Division "May 17, 1918. 

Training Section. 

"From: Chief of Air Service. 

"To: General Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force, 
Toronto, Canada. 

"Subject: Reciprocal Agreement. 

"1. The reciprocal agreement made last autumn by yourself and the 
Chief Signal Officer of the Army having successfully accomplished its 
purpose, I desire to express to you my appreciation of the manner in 
which the Royal Air Force, under your directions, has fulfilled its part 
of the arrangement. 

"2. By its faithful and efficient work in the training of our cadets 
and enlisted personnel, the Royal Air Forces has conferred a great and 
practical benefit on the United States Air Service. 

"3. Equally important is the imponderable but undoubted benefit 
which has accrued to our men from instruction by and association with 
officers and men who have had practical experience, at the front, with 
the conditions which we are preparing to meet. This contact, so desired 
by all our forces and so particularly influential in the training of a wholly 
new arm of the service, would, but for your assistance, have been denied 
to all the men training for the Air Service in this country. 

"4. The following is quoted from the report of our Commanding 
Officer, Taliaferro Fields. *I am of the opinion that the reciprocal 
agreement between the Chief Signal Officer of the Army and the General 
Officer Commanding, Royal Flying Corps, has proven an entire success, 
and that outside of the training actually given at the fields here, the 
influence of the Royal Flying Corps in Texas and our association with 
that Corps in Canada has had a far-reaching and decidedly beneficial 
eflfect on our flying fields, throughout the United States.' With the 
sentiment herein expressed I am in complete accord, and can wish no 
better for the United States Air Service than that it may duplicate the 
high endeavor and equally high accomplishment which has distinguished 
the Royal Flying Corps, and now distinguishes, in no less abundant 
measure, the Royal Air Force. 

"W. L. KENLY. 
"Major-General N.A., 
"Chief of the Air Service." 





1 - 


# 1 1^ # # ^ e W .^^ ^f •'^. 


^Mj : 

^r * - 







To the Engine Repair Park the brigade has looked 
for the main portion of that mechanical work on 
which so much has depended, and it has not looked 
in vain. The necessity for the estabhshment of this 
unit was apparent from the first, it being put into 
action about the time when flying might be said to 
have reached a permanent status. Some three months 
later, in August, 1917, the unit was enlarged by provision 
for aeroplane repair, and work of both types was done 
under one command. With the rapidly increasing 
flying hours put in by the Corps, there again appeared 
the necessity for still further enlargement, and the 
unit was finaUy subdivided into Engine and Aeroplane 
Repair. This system remained till the close of 

It is quite obvious that the mechanical condition 
of the power plant of an aeroplane is of paramount 
importance, and, in consequence, no expense or 
trouble was spared to put the Engine Repair Park 
on the best possible basis. The equipment, which in 
the winter of 1917, promised to be ample, soon proved 
insufficient, and in September, 1918, the Park 
moved into large and most completely fitted shops 
in rented premises on King Street. In this buflding 
four floors presented a scene of extreme activity, 
the work being so arranged as to be progres- 
sive, finishing with the final tests before slupment. 
During its life of some nineteen months, this Park 
completely overhauled no less than 1,325 engines, of 
which all but thirty-five were of the Curtiss 8-cylinder 
type. Records show that for a complete overhaul, 
such as was given, an average of 300 hours' work was 
required. The total strength of the unit in November, 
1918, was 125. 


It is of interest to note that obligations covered the 
complete dissembling and assembhng of engines, the 
repair sections, situated at the various wings, doing 
only a top overhaul, for which they were suitably 

During 1918, it became apparent that considerable 
saving could be effected by carrying the work of the 
unit into the manufacture of engines as well as their 
repair, and, in consequence, much time and thought 
was given to the turning out of those integral parts 
which, assembled, made up the complete engine. 
To such a pitch was this carried that the point was 
reached at which only about twenty individual parts 
out of several hundred were purchased, the balance 
being the product of the Repair Park itself. It is 
estimated that in this way some $30,000 was saved on 
the manufacture of Curtiss engines, and some $20,000 
additional when this economical system was applied 
to the manufacture of machine gun parts. These 
estimates of saving are probably low, owing to the fact 
that 50c. an hour was allowed for bench work and $1.00 
an hour for machine work. 

The rarity of any serious engine trouble reported 
by the flying wings, is a tribute not only to the admirably 
simple design of the Curtiss engine, but also to the 
excellent work done by the Engine Repair Park. 



(note protective screen), 













§ ^ § I ^ 























This unit commenced operations as a separate 
organization on the 23rd February, 1918, prior to which 
time both engine and aeroplane repairs were made 
under the same administration. The work consisted 
of not only rebuilding every machine which crashed, 
but also dismantUng and reassembhng every aeroplane 
which had completed its flying time at the various 
wings. The fact that 400 hours in the air was con- 
sidered to necessitate complete rebuilding, will indicate 
the extreme care taken to ensure that no instructor or 
cadet took to the air in an aeroplane which was not in 
perfect mechanical condition. 

Entire dismantling was accomplished in every case, 
and after every individual fitting and part had under- 
gone various stages of repair and inspection, it was 
sent forthwith to the technical stores, whence it was 
reissued as required for construction of new machines. 
By this means it was found feasible to salve and re-use 
not less than sixty per cent, of the members and 
fittings of every machine received by the unit. 

In the early summer of 1918, the output of the 
Aeroplane Repair Park (the quality of this output being 
always entirely satisfactory) reached such a point that 
the brigade found it unnecessary to continue the 
practice of buying complete machines from the Can- 
adian Aeroplanes Limited, and the latter undertook 
to supply only such individual parts as the Repair Park 
was not equipped to make for itself. Thus this organiza- 
tion proved its constantly increasing importance. 

A glance at the exterior of a machine gives no 
idea whatever of the number of integral parts which 
go to make up a structure seemingly so simple, and the 
fact that the parts are so numerous threw additional 


work on the stx^res section, which was required at all 
times to keep in stock an ample supply of members 
and fittings. 

In addition to the work of salvaging machines, the 
unit had other duties to perform, such as the repair 
of instruments, tires, inner-tubes, radiators, metal 
fittings, wings, etc. The aeroplane when dismantled 
presents a vastly different appearance to that of the 
complete machine ready to take the air. 

In all construction the progressive system was 
worked out, by which machines, commencing at the 
first stage, moved on from section to section, receiving 
at each point the necessary additional touches, till at 
the end they emerged mechanically complete. The work 
was, in fact exactly Hke that at the Canadian Aero- 
planes Limited, with the exception that in addition to 
new construction this unit shouldered as well the system 
of salvaging, by which great economies were without 
question effected. Over and above this, there went out 
from the Repair Park a constantly increasing flow of 
wooden members, which were absorbed by various 
flying units in repairs made on wings and ailerons at 
these stations. 

Two graphs, given herewith, show the fluctuation in 
the quantity of work done, this fluctuation corres- 
ponding with demands made. These will be found to 
synchronize closely with other data giving the record 
of crashes, etc. 

In a retrospection of the general operations of the 
brigade it has been impossible to find a scene of 
operations better organized than this Repair Park, or 
one of which the output was more uniformly depend- 
able and mechanically satisfactory. 












JuME July 


Rug. 55Pr. 



Man Hour Productiom 

















Machines Passed Through 
RAT Cam- Aeroplane Repair Park 


, » » ». ■, ♦ t * » » » » i ♦ ♦ ^ * 






Stores Depot has been the general receiving, dis- 
tributing and clearing house for all supphes and 
equipment used by the brigade, and it is estimated that 
between 20,000 and 30,000 different types of articles and 
apphances have been carried in its spacious premises. 

Provision of this organization was recognized as 
an imperative necessity at the very inception of the 
Corps. Its procedure has been from the start greatly 
assisted by the fact that the Aviation Department of 
the Imperial Munitions Board has acted as purchasing 
agent, and has always placed its unique faciUties at the 
service of the R.A.F. and secured for the latter the 
very best possible terms and deUveries procurable. In 
order to reduce as far as possible the labor imposed 
upon the Imperial Munitions Board, the requirements 
of each unit for a definite length of time were 
estimated, grouped and submitted as one request. It 
will be understood that these requirements covered all 
needs from socks to propellers. This procedure is 
termed ' 'provisioning. ' ' 

Purchased material, being received at Stores Depot, 
is subject to a minute inspection, and no payments are 
made by the Munitions Board until notification has 
been received from the inspection department that 
the articles received are in classification and quantity 
exactly what has been ordered. If this centralizing of 
receiving work should be considered in any way unne- 
cessary, it has only be to pointed out that the receipt 
of purchased material is thereby enormously simpHfied, 
and the duty of inspection is unified in one specially 
qualified organization. 

It is easily seen that without extreme care Stores 
Depot might have accumulated an enormous quantity 
of innumerable articles, quantities far beyond actual 
requirements of the various units for whom they were 


purchased. In consequence, the practice has invariably 
been to compile a schedule covering the needs for six 
months of each branch of the service, and confine the 
stocks carried to these amounts. 

The amount of work discharged by Stores Depot 
has been probably not thoroughly appreciated, even 
by the various branches of the brigade. Records show 
an average receipt per week for the last year of some 
250 shipments, or between thirty or forty a day. 
These shipments range from one case to seventy or 
eighty cases each, while from the commencement of 
Stores to November, 1918, there have been placed with 
the Aviation Department of the Imperial Munitions 
Board some 9,000 requisitions, each of which represents 
an average of ten different types of articles, each 
requisition in turn has been covered by from one to 
ten orders placed by the Munitions Board, while every 
order has been covered by from one up to as high as 
one hundred invoices. 

The responsibility of Stores Depot has involved 
not only receipt and distribution of all supphes required 
by the brigade, but also the maintenance of a form of 
record which will enable the government auditors to 
trace the entire history of any article which has passed 
through this organization, from the date of the order 
given for its purchase up to the point at which it has 
reached the end of its serviceable life and been 
written off. 

It will, of course, be understood that supplies have 
been sent to the various wings only upon a request being 
made by the latter, and it is furthermore necessary 
that the type and amount of the equipment which is 
being asked for coincide with the provision Stores Depot 
are authorized to make, and the rate of consumption 
which is laid down as being proper for the particular 
service involved. If, on the other hand, any purchase 
is necessary of articles not carried as standard, special 
authority is required to be granted before action is 




The move to Texas of a section of the Corps in 
October, 1917, and the return of that section to Canada 
in April, 1918, threw additional responsibility on Stores 
Depot organization, and shipments which involved 
as many as twenty carloads per day were frequently 
sent out, the total value of articles thus forwarded 
being over $2,000,000. It was also of extreme import- 
ance that on the return of the Aerial Gunnery School 
to its permanent quarters at Beamsville, this unit 
should find itself equipped with the involved and often 
highly technical scheduled supplies required for its 
special duty, and it is to be recorded that this provision 
was admirably foreseen and supplied. 

In the Stores Depot, as well as in all other units, 
excellent service has been rendered by lady civihan 
subordinates, and in October no less than 184 were on 
the strength of this unit. There was required, of 
course, the special training of those hitherto unskilled 
in these particular duties, but the result has amply 
justified the trouble taken. Over and above the 
civilian subordinates, there were on the strength 17 
ofiScers and 217 other ranks. All have contributed 
to a notable degree to the success of the work of other 
units, which without a constant dependable supply of 
necessary equipment would have been soon rendered 



The Pay Officer arrived in Canada on the 11th 
February, 1917, with four non-commissioned officers 
of the Imperial Army Pay Corps and eight boxes of 
army books and forms, the latter, however, being 
practically useless. Canadian conditions were vastly 
different from those in England. 

A suitable office was located at 20 Victoria Street. 
The Pay Officer then immediately notified the press 
of his arrival and address, and work began on February 
17th, necessary funds being drawn from the War 
Office through the British Remount Commission in 

Owing to values in Canada varying widely from 
those prevailing in England, it was essential to tread 
very warily regarding the fixing of rates of pay and 
allowances and innumerable other points known only 
to those who have experience in an Army Pay Office. 

Once in the swing, and after numerous conferences 
and interviews with Imperial and Canadian authorities, 
the department became a hive of industry. Its extra- 
ordinary growth may be seen from the following table: 

Total Cash Total Cash No. of No. of 

Month expended on issued to Sub- cheques 

all services Sub-accountants accountants issued 

February, 1917. $ 2,000.00 $ 1,500.00 2 26 

July, 1917 236,572.90 152,812.14 19 1354 

January, 1918. . . 588,610.97 375,164.47 19 2926 

July, 1918 782,383.76 469,291.57 18 4036 

The number of claims for separation allowance to 
wives of cadets, warrant officers and other ranks paid 
in February, 1917, was fifteen. At present 1,579 
claims are issued every month. Similarly the pay- 


MP . If ^ *:■ " . -' 

<ft: <&. ^ ^ ^- ^ 

— Pi ^f — 


y^^ ^ 




ments to dependents have increased during the same 
period from 2 to 1,684. The expenditm*e incmred 
for the above services to the end of November, 1918, 
is approximately $1,200,000. 

The total nmnber of cadets, warrant officers, non- 
commissioned officers and airmen who have been dealt 
with through the Department has reached the total 
of 18,232. 

The total expenditure by the Pay Officer on all 
services from February, 1917, to December 31, 1918, 
has been $12,555,000. 

For the reader's further information, all units 
hold sub-accounts with the Pay Officer for the pay- 
ment of their personnel, each sub-accountant rendering 
a monthly statement, properly vouched, to show how 
the money advanced has been disposed of. 

The Pay Officer's further duties involve also the 
keeping of each man's account on a ledger sheet, show- 
ing clearly by monthly periods the credits due and the 
debits made against each account. In addition, a 
ledger account is kept of the amounts due and paid 
to the wives and dependents of airmen. The Pay 
Office also assumes the payment and examination of 
all railway warrants, and all rations in kind issued to 
all ranks. This includes the adjustment between the 
Imperial and U.S. Governments for rations and 
suppKes issued in Canada and Texas under the recipro- 
cal training agreement. The examination and pay- 
ment of all accounts from civihan authorities for damage 
to private property on account of crashes and break- 
downs of aircraft and mechanical transport falls to 
this department. 

The Victory Loan of 1917, was by arrangement with 
the Pay Officer, inasfar as the R.A.F. was concerned, 
paid for by instalments through allotment from the 
men's accounts. The total of $350,000 was subscribed 
in this manner. 


As to the staff, one officer and four non-commis- 
sioned officers were responsible for the training of an 
ever-increasing personnel, and the effort was made to 
utilize each man's civilian experience to the utmost. 
Bank clerks and accountants who enlisted into the 
R.A.F. were, upon request, usually allotted for duty 
with this department, thus ensuring efficient ground 
work. Each was thoroughly schooled, promotion by 
merit being the incentive. This practice has always 
been adhered to, and has been found most satisfactory. 
The total of men clerks is now 38, in charge of a 
flight clerk. There are but two officers. 

The female subordinates were mostly obtained from 
the pubhc schools and colleges, and, after training, 
their work has been as duly recognized as that of the 
men. Most have been with the department for more 
than twelve months. This speaks well for their work 
and efficiency. The female staff numbers 41, with one 
lady superintendent in charge. 

It is desired in conclusion to point out that the 
demobilization of the Force in Canada has seriously 
taxed the efforts of this office, but, taking past experi- 
ence as a guide, no trouble is being experienced in 
disposing of the tremendous detail involved in returning 
the corps to civil life. 




W[ T.JW»„TM.B1.J I JH,^|JH.BI^_ I M^»JJ^1^J.U. 



This organization came into official existence on 
March, 17th, 1917, with a strength of one ofHcer, fifteen 
non-commissioned officers and airmen, and some fifteen 
vehicles which had been brought out from England by 
the advance party of the wing. 

By October, 1918, the number of vehicles had 
grown to about 400 (exclusive of side cars) these being 
looked after by a staff of some two hundred and thirty 
non-commissioned officers and airmen, thirty lady 
drivers, and a clerical staff of thirty-six. The vehicles 
were distributed throughout the various sections of the 
brigade, all major sections being so organized as to 
make their own repairs without reference to the central 
estabhshment in Toronto. 

Housed at first in rented premises in the Wolseley 
Garage, Toronto, the headquarters estabhshment was 
moved early in August, 1917, to its new building in 
Dupont Street. This structure was approximately 
180 ft. X 150 ft., being laid out in bays, and so arranged 
as to afford both the maximum storage space and the 
best possible accommodation for repair work. The 
latter in turn was subdivided into branches, each taking 
over its special duty as applied to various features 
of repair work, thus ensuring that a car which came 
in for overhaul moved constantly forward until, on 
completion, it had passed through the hands of every 
section concerned. Arrangements were so perfected 
that a complete overhaul could be completed by noon 
on the third day from commencement, and three days 
later the vehicle, completely painted and varnished, 
stood ready for either storage or reissue. 

The salvage of spare or worn parts proved, of course, 
to be a point demanding special attention, inasmuch 
as a great portion of the expense connected with 
overhaul is invariably to be found in such replacements. 


Under the arrangements made, all worn parts were 
classified and, wherever possible, repaired and stored 
so as to be ready for re-issue when needed. It is re- 
ported by the officer in charge of this section that the 
average repair output per week was some nineteen 
vehicles of all descriptions, heavy and Ught, this work 
being accomphshed in addition to maintenance, wash- 
ing, etc., of all the other vehicles in the headquarters 

The transport purchased locally proved most effi- 
cient, and in the Toronto section 1,200-miles-run was 
averaged per day. Every vehicle carried a log book, 
in which its duty was carefully detailed, and all 
vehicles were completely rebuilt twice a year. 

In October, 1918, the section, again expanding, 
occupied large premises on Avenue Road, reserving 
the former building for repair work only. The duties 
of various imits of the brigade called for transpor- 
tation work of a widely varying nature, so it came 
that the fleet of official vehicles presented an extreme 
variety, ranging from Packard ambulances — admirable 
vehicles specially constructed for hospital work at 
high speed over rough ground — to repair lorries and 
motorcycles. Gasohnie tanks for service on aerodromes 
proved invaluable, and fire protection was distinctly 
aided by the purchase of chemical trucks which were 
stationed at various units. 

The work of the section was extended to the carry- 
ing of local mails between the various units in Toronto. 
This proved to be most advantageous. No record of 
the section would, furthermore, be complete without 
some reference to the duties performed by the lady 
drivers who patriotically volunteered for this service. 
Their history is one of entire success, both as to the 
duty performed collectively and individually, and 
also having in view the all-important fact that by the 
acceptance of service so finely offered the brigade was 
able to release many men for other and imperative 
work in all sections of its operations. 








An Assistant Provost Marshal was appointed on 
February 1st, 1918. This was deemed advisable 
owing to the large number of men enhsted in the 
Royal Air Force, Canada. It further reheved the 
Canadian Mihtary Police Corps of the extra work of 
supervising airmen in the streets of Toronto. 

On the formation of this office there were approxi- 
mately thirty enlisted men to carry out the duties of 
Royal Air Force poHcemen. The number has since 
been increased to fifty, whose duties consist of patrolling 
the streets of Toronto, and generally supervising the 
discipline and movements of airmen when on leave 
in the city. They have also carried out all necessary 
escort duties in bringing absentees back to their 

A city guard room was opened in April, 1918, 
situated at the corner of Church and Wellington 
Streets, and later moved to the basement of the 
Records building, at the corner of Duke and George 

In July, 1918, the Royal Air Force detention rooms 
and pohce barracks were opened at 1322 Dufferin 
Street, for the dual purpose of receiving airmen sen- 
tenced to undergo detention and to acconunodate the 
personnel of the Assistant Provost Marshal's staff. 
These barracks are under the supervision of an officer 
specially detailed for the duty. 

Since July of 1918, three men have been con- 
tinually on duty in New York City, under the direction 
of an officer of the Royal Air Force, to supervise the 
discipline of airmen when on leave in that city. 

In the above connection it will be seen that consider- 
ing the many thousands of men on the strength of the 
brigade, the staflF of the A.P.M. was extremely small. 
No better evidence could be given of the excellent dis- 
cipline and behavior of the Force. 



Early in 1917 two engineer officers were appointed 
to the staff of the Officer Commanding, R.F.C., Canada, 
for technical duty in the selection of aerodrome sites 
and construction work generally. The former occupied 
the initial period of their service, but with the enlarge- 
ment of the Corps came the necessity of a Royal 
Engineers section to deal with affairs of maintenance 
and repair. It was considered that the best results 
would be secured by posting detachments of this unit 
to various stations, etc., to which, under an R.E. non- 
commissioned officer, they were attached for discipline, 
pay, rations, etc. 

Under these arrangements, the R.E. section carried 
out its obUgations until the end of August, 1918, when 
on account of the shortage of men who were both of 
military age and of required trades, it was decided that 
the maintenance work performed up to this time by 
the various subdivisions of the R.E. section, should 
be taken over by the construction section of the 
Aviation Department of the Imperial Munitions Board. 

The method of carrying out maintenance work was 
thus changed, but the responsibility for inspection and 
general supervision still devolved upon the headquar- 
ters branch of the R.E. section. The strength of the 
latter was reduced from an authorized establishment of 
135 to a staff of four officers, four or five draughtsmen 
and a sufficient number of clerks. The duty performed 
by the unit still covered, as before, the general design of 
all buildings whether technical, instructional or bar- 
racks, cooperation with the construction section of the 
Munitions Board in the securing of service of water, 
power, Ught, etc., and, in general, such responsibilities 
as fall upon a firm of consulting engineers. To these 
must be added the fact that this section was responsible 



^ «4: 



to the General Officer Commanding, and acted as 
technical go-between and adviser between him and 
the Munitions Board in all constructional and in many 
technical matters. 

In retrospect it appears that the arrangement 
worked exceedingly well. The cooperation of the Muni- 
tions Board relieved the unit of all except very minor 
construction. During the period of this cooperation, 
some 400 buildings were specially erected by the former, 
some 40 other existing buildings altered and fitted, 
together with the provision of innumerable services 
of varied nature. Records show the completion of 
six aerodromes with acconamodation for 22 squadrons, 
and the estabhshment of an Armament School at 
Hamilton and a Cadet Wing at Long Branch. The 
average cost for barrack accommodation was approxi- 
mately $235 per man. In this connection it is interest- 
ing to note that at a time when men were becoming 
extremely scarce owing to the annulment of transfer 
from R.F.C. to the R.A.F., the employment and 
accommodation of women on a fairly large scale was 
discussed. Analysis of building costs showed that 
barrack accommodation would in this case cost some 
$430 per head, owing to the necessity of special pro- 
vision. The scheme was not unnaturally abandoned. 



This camp, the summer home of the 44th Wing 
for the year 1918, represented the first structural 
activities of the unit in Canada. By most energetic 
methods it was transformed from a sandy desert, and 
became probably the finest flying camp in North 
America, the Department of Mihtia and Defence 
having put at the disposition of the imit approxi- 
mately 1,000 acres adjoining the C.E.F. camp of a 
similar name. The work of construction, which began 
at the end of January, 1917, progressed so fast that 
flying began early in April. 

Never probably in the history of Canadian con- 
struction has a scene of greater activity been presented 
than was observed at Borden during this period under 
the direction of the late Colonel Low, backed up by an 
R. E. ofiicer lent by the Department of Militia and 
Defence. Work progressed unceasingly in a temper- 
ature often 20° to 30° below zero. Buildings sprang 
up at night under the glare of arc lamps, and physical 
difiiculties one after the other were met only to be 
conquered. Within two weeks 1,700 men and 200 
teams had been transported and were at work. 

Hundreds of acres of sandy soil were sown with 
grass seed, thousands of stumps were uprooted and 
numberless hillocks levelled. An excellent road system, 
a first rate water supply and electrical system were all 
provided, together with special telephone communi- 
cation to Toronto and neighboring towns. 

The type of building adopted was retained for all 
subsequent construction, and has proved to give a 
maximum of comfort with a minimum of expense. 

At the close of hostilities. Camp Borden had accom- 
modation for 122 officers, 500 cadets, 120 warrant 
officers and sergeants, and 900 rank and file. A few 




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illustrations of typical buildings are given, together 
with photographs of the strength at the cessation of 

The surrounding country is level, and affords many 
opportunities for landing. To the north stretches the 
great expanse of Lake Huron, to the east lies Lake 
Simcoe, and 50 miles to the south is the shore of Lake 
Ontario. To those who visited Borden when the air 
was full of machines, there has always been something 
peculiarly fascinating in the wide, clear skies and 
unquestionable atmosphere of space and height which 
is noticeable. 

During its occupancy, the 44th Wing did much to 
improve the camp, and the energetic measures taken by 
the officer commanding for the comfort and enjoyment 
of his unit will long be remembered. A large concrete 
swimming pool, 100 feet by 40 feet was built, a cement 
tennis court of exceptional excellence was constructed, 
and a golf course of 9 holes laid down by first rate pro- 
fessionals, arrangements being made whereby, for the 
expenditure of a few cents, all could enjoy this most 
inviting of sports. Games, football and all types of 
physical exercise were indulged in, and it was impossible 
to find within the boimdaries of the corps a more 
complete programme of physical relaxation. 

The chart on page 291 shows the number of cadets 
passed through this wing. It should be remembered, 
however, that until the formation of the School of 
Aerial Gunnery in April, 1918, at BeamsvilJe, the 
44th Wing assumed this instruction. The unit 
occupied Camps Leaside and Armour Heights during 
the summer and winter of 1917, but for the rest of its 
active history its home has been at Camp Borden. 



At first the scene of the initial flying activity of the 
brigade, i.e., that of ''X" and "Y" Squadrons, Long 
Branch subsequently became the home of the Cadet 
Wing. The area covers approximately 100 acres, its 
use being kindly granted by the Department of Militia 
and Defence. 

During the summer of 1917, cadets were housed 
under canvas. When autmnn came, the unit was 
spUt between camps Mohawk and Borden, then 
vacated by units proceeding to Texas, and returned 
in April to a larger tented city on the former ground. 
During the sunamer of 1918 it was decided that per- 
manent accommodation be provided, this being due 
to the fact that it was not contemplated that the brigade 
should again visit Texas. By the autumn most 
excellent provision had been made for 30 officers, 
1,200 cadets, 68 warrant officers and sergeants and 1,200 
rank and file. 

The camp is excellently laid out, supplied with power 
and light from the transmission Hues of the Hydro- 
Electric Power Commission, and was complete with 
every provision for the instruction, comfort and amuse- 
ment of the large number of cadets on the strength. 

Hospital acconmiodation at this unit was especially 
centraUzed, and arrangements provided that technical 
instruction be given to patients so far as their condition 
permitted. The Cadet Wing was always prominent 
in sports, and during the summer of 1918 several 
racing shells were purchased and afforded much 
enjoyment along the shores of Lake Ontario, which 
hes immediately on the south boundary of the camp. 
Here also constant interest was occasioned by the 
passage of machines en route to the School of Aerial 
Fighting at Beamsville. 



The Town of Deseronto is on the north shore of 
Lake Ontario, some 130 miles east of Toronto. Between 
it and the main body of the lake, hes the island county 
of Prince Edward. Here, at points three miles west and 
one and a half miles north, were selected the two 
aerodromes of camps Mohawk and Rathbun, the 
former being part of an Indian reserve, the use of 
which was secured through the agency of the Depart- 
ment of Indian Affairs at Ottawa, the latter being 
a level farm owned by a prominent family in the town 
of Deseronto. Work commenced during April, 1917, 
and was sufficiently far advanced to enable machines to 
take the air in the following month. 

The technical equipment at Mohawk ultimately 
consisted of twelve ffight sheds (four squadrons), with 
complete provision for aeroplane repair and ground 
instruction, the engine repair work being done in 
rented sheds in the town of Deseronto. The aerodrome 
itself was unusually level and the surrounding country 
fairly open. A large amount of flying took place, 
of course, over water. Within easy reach to the 
eastward hes that exquisite expanse of the St. Law- 
rence River which encircles the Thousand Islands. 

The camp buildings, centrally heated, crowned an 
eminence lying between the aerodrome and the water's 
edge, a beautiful site which commanded an excellent 
view of the adjacent country. Mohawk, with the 
neighboring camp of Rathbun, was occupied during the 
early summer of 1917 by the 43rd Wing, headquarters 
administration being housed in the Town of Deseronto, 
from which both camps could easily be reached. 

The development of training, confined at first to 
aerial work, was carried to the point of giving ground 
and gunnery instruction, and an excellent range was 


constructed near the barrack buildings. Water was 
drawn from the lake nearby and chlorinated for use, 
while ample electrical facihties were secured from the 
transmission circuits of the Provincial Hydro-Electric 

By November, 1918, the accommodation of this 
unit was sufficient for 71 officers, 320 cadets, 69 warrant 
officers and sergeants, and 450 rank and file. 

Camp Rathbun, one and a half miles north of 
Deseronto, was topographically very similar to Mohawk, 
but comprised a lesser acreage. During the autumn of 
1918, the accommodation there was also increased, and 
a central heating plant erected in order to keep all 
buildings thoroughly comfortable during the winter 
months. There was provision for 53 officers, 246 
cadets, and 330 other ranks. Water was chlorinated 
and drawn through the municipal system of the town 
of Deseronto, and electrical energy secured as at 

Both the above camps were occupied by the 43rd 
Wing during the summer of 1917, and by the 42nd 
Wing during the summer of 1918. In the intervening 
winter. Camp Mohawk afforded acconmiodation for 
one half of the Cadet Wing held in Canada in training 
during that particular period. 

Wing headquarters have always been in Deseronto, 
and there also, during the summer of 1918, permanent 
housing was erected for that section of the occupying 
wing engaged in repair, motor transport and similar 
work. Here too was housed the headquarters staff. 

Women civilian subordinates were largely employed 
at Deseronto, making their temporary homes in the 
town, and radiating out to the two flying camps. In 
spite of apparent scanty accommodation the arrange- 
ment worked here, as elsewhere, to the definite ad- 
vantage of the Corps. 


I ^ 

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^ ^ I ^ !^ ^ ^ 



?i - 









Telephone communication connected all units, and 
a private wire was secured between wing headquarters 
and headquarters in Toronto. The Canadian Northern 
Railway immediately serves the town, and the Grand 
Trunk Railway Company's lines pass within the 
short distance of seven miles, and were very frequently 
used. The roads in the camps' vicinity have been con- 
siderably improved by the Corps. A noticeable increase 
in the commercial hfe of the community has taken 
place since this section of the brigade took up its 



The instructions of the Air Ministry that sports 
should be encouraged in all possible forms, met with 
the keenest approval from all members of the Force, 
and as a result great advantage was secured in keeping 
the physical condition of all ranks at the highest possible 
point. During its first year's history the Corps was in 
the throes of organization, and with the exception of 
individual sports meetings held at various stations, there 
was no possibility of organizing any general system. A 
representative football team was, however, formed in 
March of 1917, which, playing in the Ontario Provin- 
cial League, had by the end of the season won a silver 
trophy known as the Shamrock Cup, together with a 
gold medal for each player, and, as a finale, journeyed 
to Montreal and defeated the well known Grand Trunk 
Railway Team by 3 goals to 0, after a hard fought 

Hockey presented too much of a problem to be 
faced during the first winter, owing to the fact that 
there were not at the disposal of the various units 
sufficient rinks of the required dimensions. On the 
removal of part of the unit to Texas, however, the 
question of sports was definitely taken up, and the 
general sports committee, then appointed, arranged 
at once for inter-wing matches which proved a con- 
stant source of interest and rivalry. At the end of the 
season, the 42nd Wing led in soccer football, with a 
record of 26 goals as against 11 secured by opponents 
in 5 matches. This wing won every game it played. 

It was quite natural that with such an excellent 
reputation, the R.A.F. should be invited to send its 
representatives to play in the North Texas Soccer 
Football League. Here, too, a very successful pro- 
gramme was carried out. No game was lost out of 
five played, and, as a result, the Spalding Trophy, 







presented each year to the champion team of the League, 
became the property of the R.F.C. As a token of 
appreciation of the services rendered by Mr. Frank 
Morris, a prominent sportsman of Fort Worth, the 
R.F.C. sports committee presented a shield for 
competition among the school teams of the Fort Worth 

Sports led, in natural sequence, to entertainment, 
and while it is impossible in this history to give the 
details of the various concerts and entertainments 
provided by talent of the R.F.C, it must in fairness be 
stated that these occasions brought out an astonishing 
and varied amount of talent, which was keenly appre- 
ciated by innumerable Texan friends and the unit at 
large. On one such occasion nearly $1,200 remained 
as net profit, and on another some $800, these two sums 
being divided between various funds. 

On the return of this section of the Force to Canada 
in April, no time was lost in opening a new and wider 
field of operation. A representative R.F.C. team was 
enrolled in the Ontario Provincial Football League, and 
inter-unit teams were also selected. A very successful 
eleven was entered in the local Church and Mercantile 
Cricket League, and the year 1918 saw great activity 
in all sports, in spite of the difficulty in securing the 
necessary time and place for training. The record of 
the football team showed that out of 12 games played, 
7 were won, 3 lost and 2 drawn, with 33 goals scored 
as against 18 by opponents. 

In the final match for the championship, the R.A.F. 
players lost, owing largely to sickness then prevalent. 

The inter-unit football league was led at the end 
of the season by the 43rd Wing. 

Baseball was, for a time, followed closely, and some 
excellent talent discovered, especially in the junior 
units, but it was found to interfere somewhat with 
other games, and was therefore temporarily suspended. 


Boxing took always a prominent part in the 
athletics of the Corps, and representatives included 
the feather-weight champion of Canada, the middle- 
weight champion of America, the 115 lbs. champion of 
Canada and the welter-weight champion of the West. 

At Borden, aquatic sports were prominent, owing 
to the fact that an admirable swimming tank had been 
constructed at this unit. In an aquatic contest the 
plunge for distance was won, not unnaturally, by a 
pearl diver from Jamaica, who plunged fifty feet. 

Cricket, although a continual source of pleasure 
and interest was, so far as concerns the brigade, under 
a handicap, owing to lack of practice and the impossi- 
bihty of analyzing the merits of individual players. 
There was discovered, however, a valuable acquisition 
in an ex-Kent County colt, who was a first-rate class 
bowler, and was backed up by an extremely steady 
sergeant-major. Both achieved many successes during 
the year. 

Outstanding in the history of R.A.F. sports 
are three events. The first was the first annual 
Sports Day held on August 17th, 1918, at the Island 
Stadium, Toronto. The second the joint C.E.F. and 
R.A.F. Sports at Exhibition Camp on September 7th, 
and third the National Championship Meet at the 
Great Lakes Training Centre, Chicago, from 20th to 
23rd of September, 1918. The first meet, at the 
Island Stadium was a great success, and will be long 
remembered by those who participated. The day was 
perfect, the entries numerous (these of course having 
been subject to prior elimination tests at the various 
units) and an excellent track was available. The 
456 entries received for various events were reduced 
to a suitable number, and some 12,000 people filled the 
great tiers of benches which surround the ground. 
Both in point of records made, and in the keen sports- 
manUke spirit in which the whole affair was carried 
out, this meet will long remain as representative of a 





contest exhibiting the very best desirable quality. 
A Beamsville cadet carried off the championship cup 
for the greatest number of points, a remarkable athlete 
from Dartmouth College. This contestant won no 
less than five firsts. 

The joint C.E.F. and R.A.F. meet took place on 
September 7th. The latter maintained its reputation 
for sportsmanship, and succeeded in winning the ma- 
jority of the contests. 

The last large Meet in which the brigade partici- 
pated was at the Great Lakes Training Station near 
Chicago. The Corps was somewhat handicapped by 
having limited time for preliminary training, but, 
in spite of this, captured four firsts, these being 
won by the same cadet who had previously covered 
himself with laurels at the Island Stadium. Such was 
the success of the R.A.F. on this occasion, that special 
congratulations were received from the Secretary of 
State through the Director of Training at the Air 
Ministry, London. With the coming of winter in 1918 
came also orders for demobihzation and, in consequence, 
the large programme of the sports committee was 
perforce abandoned. 

In retrospect it appears that the athletics practised 
have been of the greatest possible value, not only in 
the maintenance of first-rate physical condition, but 
also in the fostering of all those principles of sports- 
manship and good fellowship without which a mUitary 
unit can never reahze its highest character and 



It is desired to give official and universal thanks 
of the brigade for the great services rendered by many 
organizations and individuals during its two years' 
work in Canada. From the first it was recognized 
that while military training was the object of the 
Corps, there were other phases of the hfe of the person- 
nel that were of primary importance. That the work 
of training has been successful is due in no small degree 
to the fact that all ranks have benefited both temper- 
amentally and socially by the generous thoughtfulness 
so continually extended. 

No sooner had the wing been formed than the 
late Colonel Hamilton Merritt and Mrs. Merritt, of 
Toronto, presented two training machines as an indi- 
cation of their keen interest in the progress of the 
flying arm of the Imperial services. Later the City 
of Toronto followed this example with three machines, 
Mr. James Carruthers with a similar gift, and the 
Province of Ontario provided two more. 

Colonel Merritt's donation conmiemorated the 
battles of Queenston and Lundy's Lane, in October, 
1812, and July, 1814, respectively; while Mr. Car- 
ruther's machines were named after three cities in 
which the donor's interests were principally centred. 

The Department of Education of the Ontario Gov- 
ernment was most generous in providing splendid 
hbraries, made up of thousands of specially selected 
books. These were sent, free of cost, to the various 
units, and proved of the greatest possible interest and 

To the Young Men's Christian Association, The 
Young Women's Christian Association, The Aero Club, 
originators of the Aviation Fund, to those warm- 












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i C*- V I 


hearted ladies under whose energy Longwood Con- 
valescent Home did such splendid work for the brigade, 
to those who were responsible for the King Street 
Hostess House, and to many others, most grateful 
acknowledgments are made. 

To the omnipresent Y.M.C.A., the members of 
the brigade owe many and sincere thanks. Animated 
by the admirable spirit which has always character- 
ized its activities, it seems to have made a special effort 
to be of service particularly to the cadets and rank 
and file on the strength of the Canadian Corps. At 
Camp Borden, the "Y" erected a very large building, 
splendidly equipped for various purposes, a building 
of such size as to flout the name of hut, by which 
it is ofiicially termed. At Long Branch, another 
was approaching completion just as this imit demobi- 
hzed. In Toronto, the "Y" doors have invariably 
been thrown open to all men in uniform, and member- 
ship accorded without any fee whatever. At the 
Central building on College Street, special provision 
was made to meet the desires of the soldiers in their 
leisure hours, and the splendid swimming pool, one 
of the finest on the continent, was at the disposal 
of all soldiers of the King. To such an extent was this 
kindness appreciated, that members of the Royal 
Air Force were in the majority among those who 
took advantage of these privileges. 

The inner man was especially remembered, and the 
"Y" cafeteria proved immensely popular. On Vic- 
toria Street was a much frequented building for the 
exclusive use of men in uniform, and the Red Triangle 
Club soon became the recognized meeting place for 
rank and file in the city. In consequence, accommo- 
dation was constantly on the increase. Here the 
dining hall service was doubly attractive, being made 
possible by the voluntary labor of a number of Toronto 
ladies. It was a club in every sense except one, in 
that membership is extended only to those who had 
signified their readiness to serve their country. 


The Y.M.C.A. furnished and managed Hostess 
Houses at Beamsville, Long Branch, Deseronto, Leaside 
and Camp Borden. This proved a deUghtful variation 
from camp routine, and excellent light lunches were 
provided at most reasonable prices, the latter being 
especially enjoyed by the girls employed by the 
R.A.F. This organization also secured for the sum- 
mer months of 1918, a large residence on St. George 
Street adjoining the School of Mihtary Aeronautics, 
which will long be remembered by countless cadets 
who availed themselves of its hospitality. 

The Longwood Convalescent Home, the use of 
which was kindly donated by Mrs. Charles Beatty 
through the Canadian Aviation Aid Club, has proved 
absolutely invaluable in nursing convalescents back 
to health and strength. It is charmingly situated in 
some ten acres of grounds about five miles north of 
Toronto, and being on the main road is accessible both 
by motor and electric tram. 

The upkeep of Longwood has always been a 
matter of pride and pleasure to the Force. It was 
formally opened on July 30th, 1917, by Major-General 
W. A. Logic, C.B., C.F.A. — since Justice Logic — ^who 
was at that time General Officer Commanding, Mili- 
tary District No. 2. The furniture, which was of a 
most comfortable and complete description, includ- 
ing everything imaginable for the amusement of the 
patients, together with all hnen and men's wear, were 

Erovided by the Aviation Club, which body has 
een since its inception a continual source of comfort 
and help to the brigade. 

In the spring of 1918, Longwood Annex was opened, 
a commodious house standing in the same grounds, 
and which had a capacity for an additional 24 patients, 
making 48 in all; but so popular was Longwood that, 
during this last summer, tents and marquees were 
pitched on part of the large lawn, accommodating 
not less than 50 additional patients. It will be thus 






seen that about 100 men at a time have been the 
recipients of most thoughtful care and attention at 
this Home. Its actual administration was carried out 
by the Canadian Army Medical Corps through the 
Base Hospital, and by two excellent nursing sisters who 
were continually in charge. Nothing was more satis- 
factory than a visit to this dehghtful spot, in which, 
surrounded by garden and orchard, so many heahng 
days were passed by the men of the Force, while above 
them continually soared the machines of Armour 
Heights, only a short mile away. 

The cost of alterations, repairs and various addi- 
tions which completed the attractive charm of Long- 
wood was borne by the strength of the R.A.F., — $9,800 
being raised in voluntary subscriptions from all ranks, 
and by the sale of waste paper from the various units. 
Altogether over 850 men have been privileged to 
convalesce in this admirable institution, and not 
once has there been any slackening of effort in the 
valuable service rendered by Mrs. Beatty and the 
ladies of the Canadian Aviation Aid Club. 

Other work of the Club covered an extension of 
branch organization in most towns and cities in 
Canada, where appeals for donations were sent out and 
met with a generous response in comforts and money. 
Since the Club was affiliated with the R.A.F. Air 
Committee in London, England, a special effort was 
made to aid its endeavors, and a sum of nearly $7,000 
had been forwarded to parent headquarters in Eng- 
land by the middle of August, 1918. This was sub- 
divided between the R.A.F. Hospital, the Prisoner's 
Fund and the Comfort Fund. 

The King Street Hostess House, organized by 
private individuals, was a down-town rallying point 
for men in both American and Imperial services, and 
the cadets and airmen of the brigade comprised a 
great majority of the visitors. 


Mrs. Chester Martin and Mrs. Martin Jones, the 
wife and daughter of the American Consul at Toronto, 
and Mrs. Ransom, associated with themselves a 
number of ladies whose voluntary duty it was to make 
the place exceptionally attractive, and to minister to 
practically all the needs of uniformed visitors. 

The Aero Club of Canada, originated with the 
visit to the Dominion of the late Colonel C. J. Burke, 
D.S.O., R.F.C., in 1915, and a recommendation made by 
him that an organization be formed to control the 
granting of aeronautical certificates. 

In July, 1915, the late Colonel William Hamilton 
Merritt had an audience with the Dominion Govern- 
ment at Ottawa and was then assured that every 
official facihty would be given to any organization 
which might aid the Naval and Military authorities 
in Canada in securing trained pilots. From this 
interview developed the formation of the Aviation 
Fund, and later arose the Aero Club of Canada. It 
was incorporated in December, 1916, and the by-laws 
adopted at its first meeting provided that all flying 
officers of the Allies in Canada be made honorary 
members if they so desired. The first annual meeting 
took place on March 14th, 1918. 

Recruiting for the R.F.C. was given special 
attention by the Club from its inception, a 
committee being formed to assist in the obtaining of 
cadets. The official report of this committee states 
that thirty local organizations had been formed to 
obtain candidates throughout Ontario, and that some 
3,000 lawyers and clergymen were circularized, as 
also all college and university students in the Province. 
The press was used very largely to forward this 
work. Six thousand apphcation enlistment forms 
for R.F.C. cadets were distributed in Ontario, and 
this work carried on till October 12th, 1917, when 
the Royal Flying Corps took over the local offices 
and shouldered all its own recruiting. 


All cadets of the R.F.C. are honorary members 
of the Aero Club of Canada. The flying personnel 
of the Corps foimd the club and readmg rooms (estab- 
Ushed by the courtesy of the Canadian Mihtary 
Institute) most valuable in their leisure hours. 

As at present constituted, the Club is afiiUated 
with the Royal Aero Club of London, England. 
Its membership is comprised, amongst others, of 
some 3,000 members of the R.F.C. personnel, and it 
has of late been authorized to issue international 
aeronautical certificates to pilots who have qualified 
in training. 

An irreparable loss was suffered by the death of 
Colonel Hamilton Merritt, in November, 1918, whose 
energy, generosity and unfailing enthusiasm had 
from the first been the chief factor in a most success- 
ful history of progress. 

To the Aero Club falls the credit for the inaugura- 
tion of the first Canadian aerial mail. A request 
was made that the Royal Air Force undertake trans- 
3ortation, all other arrangements being carried out 
3y the Aero Club. The first mail, via the air route, 
left Toronto for Montreal on June 30th, 1918. This 
machine, the C-203, piloted by Capt. B. A. Peck 
with Corporal E. W. Mathers as passenger, arrived 
at Deseronto, the first stage, in 120 minutes. The 
following day Montreal was reached in 150 minutes. 
Leaving on the 24th on the return journey, the pilot 
made Camp Leaside in six hours' actual flying. 

The second mail was carried from Toronto to 
Ottawa. It left Leaside in C-280, piloted by Lieut. 
T. Longman on August 15th, returning on August 
17th. The easterly flight took 280 minutes and the 
return trip 220 minutes. 

On August 26th, Lieut. A. Dunstan in machine 
C-282 again carried the mail to the Capital, taking 
220 minutes in each direction. Lieut. H. Burton in 


the same machine repeated this flight in similar time 
on September 4th, the latter officer making the round 
trip in a single day. 

The Aero Club, for the purpose, arranged with the 
Dominion Government for the use of a special stamp, 
of the design illustrated. Thus was inaugurated a 
service which should in the near future develop 
enormously in this country of great distances. 

The above acknowledgments are perforce frag- 
mentary, as it is impossible to extend to each and all 
in any other form the thanks which the brigade desires 
to oflfer. It is hoped, therefore, that those to whom 
individual reference is not here made will accept this 
assurance of the great value the unit has placed upon 
services so generously offered and so gratefully received. 



11 n -W 







The following list indicates the Squadrons and Groups of 
which it has been possible to reproduce photographs. Every 
effort was made to secure a complete record, but this has not 
been entirely achieved. 


Sir Joseph Flavelle, Chairman Imperial Munitions Board . , 24 

G. A. Morrow, Esq., O.B.E., Director of Aviation 2 1 

SirFrank Baillie, K.B.E., President Canadian Aeroplanes Limited 24 

Officers, Aviation Department, Imperial Munitions Board . . 27 

Officials and Executive Staff, Canadian Aeroplanes Limited . 45 

Officers, 81st Squadron, Camp Rathbun . 59 

Headquarters, Officers and ^taff . 60 

Headquarters Staff 63 

80th Squadron, Camp Borden, Officers and Mechanics . . .64 

87th Squadron, Camp Borden 73 

Officers and Strength, School of Aerial Fighting, Beamsville . 91 

Ground Instructional Section, Camp Mohawk 92 

92nd Squadron, Camp Borden, Officers AND Mechanics ... 96 

85th Squadron, Camp Mohawk 101 

Medical Officer and Staff, Deseronto . . . 109 

Records and Recruiting Officers and Staff 133 

Recruits Depot, Jesse Ketchum Barracks, Toronto .... 134 

89th Squadron, Camp Mohawk 153 

Officers and Strength, 43rd Wing, Leaside 157 

Staff of School of Aeronautics 163 

Officers and Staff, Armament School, Hamilton 171 

82nd Squadron 196 

88th Squadron, Camp Borden 214 

Officers and Staff, School OF Special Flying 221 

Officers and Staff, Engine Repair Park 250 

Officers and Staff, Aeroplane Repair Park 259 

Officers and Staff, Stores Depot 260 

Pay Office Staff 267 

90th Squadron, Camp Rathbun 268 

Mechanical Transport Section 274 

Assistant Provost Marshal, Officers and Staff 278 

Officers and Staff, Royal Engineers' Section 281 

Officers and Strength, 44th Wing, Camp Borden 285 

Officers, 44th Wing, Camp Borden 286 

Repair Section, Camp Mohawk 292 

Camp Borden Representative Team 296 

R.A.F. Representative Soccer Team, 1916 292 

85th Squadron, Camp Mohawk 305 

84th Squadron, Camp Mohawk . 309 

Instructional Staff, X Squadron, Long Branch 310 

First Batch of Cadets, X Squadron, Long Branch 310 

79Tn Squadron, Camp Rathbun 316 

Officers and Nurses, ScHt)OL of Aerial Fighting, Beamsville . 317